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In this issue:

Lisa Anderson
Huma Bhabha
Harold Hongju Koh
Heidi Julavits
Ben Marcus
Andrew J. Nathan
Dietrich Neumann
Wolf Schfer
Thomas Schestag
Susan Stewart
Tara Zahra
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A Magazine from the American Academy in Berlin | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
THE BERLIN JOURNAL
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Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 1
CONTENTS
The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
The Past Is Now
16 The Tinderbox of History
lisa anderson tends to the current
conagration in Middle Eastern politics,
explaining how the regions current strife
is often owed the territorial maps drawn
during colonial rule.
21 Travel on Trial
tara zahra examines large-scale
emigration from the Austro-Hungarian
Empire in the late nineteenth century and
how policies to stem the loss hid imperial
fears of the West.
26 Reorientation
andrew j. nathan suggests that Chinas
rise need not present a threat to Western
interests, as long as each acclimates to
the change with a healthy balance of
understanding and self-interest.
N1 On the Waterfront
The American Academys newsletter
features the latest on fellows, alumni,
and trustees, as well as recent events at
the Hans Arnhold Center.
Asymmetries
03 Of Terror and Targeting
harold hongju koh addresses the
legality of targeted drone strikes and the
persistence of international terrorism.
08 Negative Charge
wolf schfer uncovers what and who
strained the amicable-looking friendship
between two of Germanys greatest
physicists.
12 The House That Mies Built
dietrich neumann disassembles the
idea that modernist architecture is about
progressive politics: Mies van der Rohes
1929 Barcelona Pavilion found itself
sheltering conservative ideologues.


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Per aspera ad astra
29 Restlessness
heidi julavits seeks the insomniacs
slumber in rooms and beds already
occupied.
32 The Loyalty Protocol
ben marcus narrates the moral and
emotional complexities of a neighbor hood
safety drill. A story from his forthcoming
collection, Leaving the Sea.
38 How (Not) to Look at the Sun
thomas schestag unravels the
philological layers of French poet and
essayist Francis Ponges writings on the
condition sine qua non of all the objects in
the world: the sun.
44 The Owl and Atavistic Sonnet
susan stewart offers two poems of
misperception and aviary intervention.
46 The Dreamers
bill viola s new video work.
BILL VIOLA, A SCENE FROM THE ENCOUNTER, 2012. COLOR HIGH-DEFINITION VIDEO ON PLASMA DISPLAY, MOUNTED ON WALL
2 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
DIRECTORS NOTE
The Reins of Responsibility
T
he concept of responsibility has been on many
minds at the American Academy lately. Not just because
of the gestures of intervention in Syria, where the
rhetoric of principles as in the Responsibility to Protect
succumbed to the calculation of interests. Not just because
of German ambivalence about taking on certain kinds of
responsibility in Europe and beyond, or the present political
quandaries encumbering responsible domestic stewardship in
the United States. And not just because of what Josef Joffe calls
the perils and consequences of abstention exhibited by ris-
ing global powers reticent to contribute to the design of a new
world order. In addition to these concerns, we are also thinking
about responsibility because of a new initiative at the Academy
named after its founder, a towering gure who believed deeply
in the responsibility of the individual and who was fundamen-
tally committed to confronting human suffering in the world.
The Richard C. Holbrooke Forum will be unfurled in
spring 2014, following a gala evening in New York this
December, where Hillary Clinton has generously agreed to
deliver the keynote address launching an institutional initia-
tive in the name of her late friend and colleague. Among the
Forums rst projects is Responsibility & Globalization,
which will address a number of urgent topics: how to conceive
of the institutionalization of responsibility in a post-Western
era insofar as it is not being undertaken in global institutions
or complexes; how to distribute the global charge of environ-
mental care; how to confront transnational security challenges,
capital ows, and crises in energy; how to engage free riders
in the world order who rely on those who do take responsibility
as China is often described and those who engage in moral
hazard. Responsibility is a key concept of democratic political
theory, and a sustained, problem-oriented evaluation, led by
Michael Ignatieff, will be very much in Holbrookes spirit.
And so it is that these concerns have woven their way into
this issue of the Berlin Journal. Herein, historian Tara Zahra
discusses the roots of East European emigration; Harold Koh
confronts the legality of targeted drone strikes in the context of
international law; Wolf Schfer and Dietrich Neumann both
investigate the strain of political ideology on friendship; and
Andrew Nathan offers a piercing view into the future of the
Wests relationship with China. Not least, ction writer Ben
Marcus narrates the moral contradictions of neighborhood
responsibility, offering, perhaps, a foreboding microcosm of
the world stage to come. gary smith
THE BERLIN JOURNAL
A magazine from the Hans Arnhold
Center published by the American
Academy in Berlin
Number Twenty-Five Fall 2013
PUBLISHER Gary Smith
EDITOR R. Jay Magill Jr.
MANAGING EDITOR Johana Gallup
ASSOCIATE EDITOR John-Thomas
Eltringham
ADVERTISING Berit Ebert,
Anika Kettelhake
DESIGN Susanna Dulkinys &
Edenspiekermann
www.edenspiekermann.com
LAYOUT Karen Schramke
PRINTED BY Ruksaldruck, Berlin
Copyright 2013
The American Academy in Berlin
ISSN 1610-6490
Cover: Telefonregister from the
ofce of Heinz Galinski, 1980s.
From the exhibition Stay?! Jews
in Liberated Berlin.
Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin
Centrum Judaicum.
Photo: Anna Fischer
THE AMERICAN ACADEMY
IN BERLIN
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Gary Smith
DEAN OF FELLOWS & PROGRAMS
Pamela Rosenberg
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER/
CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER
Christian U. Diehl
Am Sandwerder 1719
14109 Berlin
Tel. (49 30) 80 48 3-0
Fax (49 30) 80 48 3-111
www.americanacademy.de
14 East 60th Street, Suite 604
New York, NY 10022
Tel. (1) 212 588-1755
Fax (1) 212 588-1758

IN GERMANY
Contributions may be made
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SUPPORT
The Academy is entirely funded by private donations. If you like what we
are doing, please contribute by making a tax-deductible donation:
FOUNDER Richard C. Holbrooke
FOUNDING CHAIRMEN Thomas L. Farmer, Henry A. Kissinger,
Richard von Weizscker
CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT A. Michael Hoffman
VICE CHAIR Gahl Hodges Burt
CO-SECRETARIES Stephen B. Burbank, John C. Kornblum
TRUSTEES Barbara Balaj, Manfred Bischoff, Stephen B. Burbank, Gahl
Hodges Burt, Caroline Walker Bynum, Mathias Dpfner, Niall Ferguson,
Marina Kellen French, Michael E. Geyer, Hans-Michael Giesen, Richard K.
Goeltz, C. Boyden Gray, Vartan Gregorian, Andrew S. Gundlach, Helga Haub,
A. Michael Hoffman, Stefan von Holtzbrinck, Dirk Ippen, Wolfgang Ischinger,
Josef Joffe, Michael Klein, John C. Kornblum, Regine Leibinger, Wolfgang
Malchow, Nina von Maltzahn, Julie Mehretu, Christopher von Oppenheim,
Jeffery A. Rosen, Volker Schlndorff, Peter Y. Solmssen, Kurt Viermetz,
Pauline Yu
HONORARY TRUSTEE Klaus Wowereit (ex ofcio)
CHAIRMAN EMERITUS Karl M. von der Heyden
TRUSTEES EMERITI John P. Birkelund, Diethard Breipohl, Gerhard Casper,
Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Norman Pearlstine, Fritz Stern
Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 3
OF TERROR
AND TARGETING
An Interview with Harold Hongju Koh
HAROLD HONGJU KOH HAD JUST RETURNED TO YALE LAW SCHOOL BEFORE COMING TO BERLIN AS THE
ACADEMYS SPRING 2013 LLOYD CUTLER DISTINGUISHED VISITOR. FOR THE PREVIOUS FOUR YEARS,
KOH HAD SERVED UNDER HILLARY CLINTON AS LEGAL ADVISER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE. WHILE IN
BERLIN, HE SPOKE WITH MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS, EDITOR OF THE VERFASSUNGSBLOG, ABOUT THE LEGALITY
OF DRONE STRIKES, THE REACH OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, AND THE PERSISTENCE OF TERRORISM.
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We are not in a global war on terror. We are
trying to dismantle specic terrorist net-
works that are threatening our interests and
those of our allies. That is a much narrower
statement on what the use of force is for.
MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS: Lets get back to
targeted killing for a moment. People who
may or may not be terrorists are killed, and
nobody knows who makes the decisions,
and on which legal grounds, and there
isnt even a remotely similar thing to due
process. And if the government screws up,
nobody will hold it accountable.
HAROLD HONGJU KOH: Lets distinguish
per se illegality and illegality in the way a
particular weapon or tactic is used in armed
conict. Some weapons like land mines I
consider per se illegal. Torture is per se ille-
gal. But the legality of other weapons like
drones depends on the conditions. Drones
are tools. They are not the atomic bomb
or something that indiscriminately kills
thousands of people. Targeted killing could
be the most legal way to conduct warfare,
but only if the targets are carefully and
lawfully chosen. Look, if you had said this
before President Obama gave his [National
Defense University] speech, I would have
agreed: We want to tame drones. We want
to bring targeted killing into the legal
sphere. We want clear standards. We want
consultations. Within this administration
everyone knows that the German view
cannot be taken for granted. But President
Obama has announced a move in this direc-
tion, as he should. So the glass is half full.
Sadly, I have spent the last four years
studying al-Qaeda. Its a coherent, dedi-
cated, effective, transnational organization
dedicated to killing civilians and has no
legitimate aims. Twenty-three of the top
MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS: Many Europeans,
including me, have a hard time accepting
that targeted killing of terrorist suspects
by drone strikes can be legal. Can you con-
vince me?
HAROLD HONGJU KOH: I understand your
concern, but let me give you a thought
experiment. Suppose that seven days after
September 11 Congress declares war on
al-Qaeda. Suppose Al Gore were president,
and he comes on TV and calls for the sup-
port of the world, saying; As of today, we
are at war under domestic law against this
organization, and we are going to follow
the international laws of war in how we
conduct this conict. So, I will not do any-
thing illegal, I will not invade Iraq, torture
anyone, open Guantanamo, set up military
courts, or alienate our best friends, none
of these. But heres what I must do: in the
next six months we must identify and
nd and target the responsible people we
are at war with. If we nd them in a place
where we can capture and try them, we
will. But if not, we must use any available
technological means, including drones, to
remove them from the battleeld. Now,
if he had said that, and if the mission had
been accomplished in six months instead
of twelve years, I think that the German
people would have been supportive.
MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS: Maybe so. But again,
how can the targeted killing of people be
legal?
HAROLD HONGJU KOH: This is targeting in
the context of armed conict. The Japanese
general Yamamoto who ordered Pearl
Harbor was targeted and killed in 1943. All
signs were he was plotting further attacks.
Killing him saved lives. And it was lawful
under the laws of war.
MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS: World War II was
warfare, and so was the killing of General
Yamamoto. But how does that translate
to the ght against terror? Wasnt declar-
ing a global war on terror one of the
most fatal mistakes of the previous US
administration?
HAROLD HONGJU KOH: To call it a global
war on terror was a grotesque ination.
Al-Qaeda doesnt operate globally; it only
operates in some parts of the world. But
as President Obama clearly said in May [at
his National Defense University speech],
which I dont think a lot of people heard:
thirty al-Qaeda leaders have been removed
from the battleeld since Obama came
in. So, their capacity to commit violence
in New York, Madrid, or London is signi-
cantly reduced.
MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS: But you dont nec-
essarily have a particular al-Qaeda leader
in the crosshairs before a drone strike is
launched, do you? What about signature
strikes, where a group of unidentied
people is targeted just because they match
some behavior pattern typical of terrorists?
HAROLD HONGJU KOH: There is an evolution
behind this. Say your target is Osama Bin
Laden, but he is hiding. You cant see his
face. But his car is there; his associates are
there. These are signatures; the positive
selectors are present. The target is a partic-
ular person. I think that is lawful, so long
as the person is lawfully targeted based on
provable past acts. But then you expand:
What about a group signature? Based on
suspicious activity? Or people might ask, if
you have this particular kind of car it must
be an al-Qaeda safehouse? Then, suddenly,
the proposal is to drop a bomb somewhere
where you dont know who any of those peo-
ple are, based on suspicious activity alone.
Thats also called a signature strike. But it
is misnamed. Its really an undifferentiated
attack based on external and overbroad
signals. If you do it wrong, it can violate the
laws of war. President Obama never said
he would eliminate signature strikes. But
what he did say is that he will require near-
certainty that a senior operational leader
of al-Qaeda is present, which amounts to
eliminating undifferentiated group strikes.
MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS: Anwar al-Aulaqi, a
US-born hate preacher, was killed by a drone
Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 5
strike in Yemen in 2011. Many Americans
were shocked that his US citizenship didnt
protect him from being targeted.
HAROLD HONGJU KOH: Aulaqi was more
dangerous than Bin Laden for the last years
of his life. Bin Laden was in hiding. As our
Attorney General told Congress just recent-
ly, Aulaqi had told the underwear bomb-
er, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab: Blow up
your plane over American soil. That is a
direct command to kill thousands of inno-
cent civilians. Are you supposed to simply
let this happen? He was an American citi-
zen, thats right. Well, if Bin Laden was a
German citizen, bi-national, had declared
war on Germany and had been plotting
attacks of this nature, is he immunized
because he has a second nationality? The
US legal analysis was that its not immunity.
The question is: Did he declare war by what
he did? I think Aulaqi did.
MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS: His 16-year-old son,
also killed by drone strike two weeks after
and also a US citizen, hadnt declared war
on anybody.
HAROLD HONGJU KOH: I dont defend this.
This was an error. I dont know how it hap-
pened. The US should take responsibility.
Obama nally admitted last week that one
man was targeted, Aulaqi. His son wasnt.
This calls for a review.
MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS: How do you end a
war against a terrorist organization?
HAROLD HONGJU KOH: Wars generally end
when you strike a crushing military blow.
Then the enemy decides that they are not
going to keep this up, and they generally
disband. President Obama was correct
when he said that the leaders of al-Qaeda
now spend most of their time worrying that
they are being targeted instead of planning
new attacks. Bin Laden himself declared
at the end that they couldnt ght drones
with explosives. They felt overmatched.
There was a tool that they couldnt ght. So,
to end this war, you defeat al-Qaeda, you
ght and have peace discussions with the
Taliban, and you very restrictively dene
who the cobelligerents are, as the genuine
allies of al-Qaeda, such as al-Qaeda in the
Arabian Peninsula, but not just any group
that comes along. The Boston Marathon
bombers were homegrown sympathizers,
not members of al-Qaeda. We can deal with
them through law enforcement.
What was so important about President
Obamas speech at the National Defense
University, in May, was that he made clear
that the permanent-war footing is distort-
ing our freedom. For twelve years the US
dealt with an aberrational situation with
an aberrational paradigm of response. But
that aberrational response went on too long.
What President Obama said was overdue:
The sustainable way forward to counter ter-
rorism does not include Guantanamo, nor
does it include the opaque and under-reg-
ulated use of drones. There was a key judg-
ment call in the Presidents speech. He said
there are two ways forward: perpetual war
or exit strategy. President Obama chose exit
strategy. And I think the German people
should be supportive.
MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS: Germans have gener-
ally been very supportive since 2008. But
now, in the fth year of Obamas presidency,
some of us cant help losing faith a little bit.
HAROLD HONGJU KOH: Id say, Max, dont
stop believing! Hold on to that feeling!
Look, Obama is not perfect. But he inher-
ited an impossible situation. The worst eco-
nomic situation since the 1920s, three wars,
horrible political division. He set certain
priorities, and he had to focus on getting
re-elected, because if he doesnt, nothing
else good can happen. So now he is in his
second term, he has three years left and is
free to do the things he cares about and he
knows are important parts of his legacy. He
could have left Guantanamo on the back
burner, where it was already, but he didnt.
He said that this was unnished business.
Now, you could say that business should
have been nished earlier. But you could
also say, at least now, with three years to go,
he is nally going to tackle this problem.
So, your patience is taxed and many of
you say, We will not get fooled again. But I
would say, this is the moment when Obama
actually needs your support! The moment
to encourage him is when he is nally head-
ed in the right direction. What President
Obama did in 2008 when he came to Berlin
was to build more good will than he was
probably entitled to at that moment. He
really needs that good will now. And to be
honest: Who would you have instead? Do
you want to have his opponents? Are they
going to take us off the endless-war para-
digm? With President Obama, at least, its
better late than never.
MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS: What if he doesnt?
What if drone strikes and targeted killing
dont prove to be that effective in nishing
off al-Qaeda after all? What if it causes such
amounts of unrest in places like Pakistan
or Yemen that for every head you chop off
the body of the Hydra it instantly grows a
dozen new ones?
HAROLD HONGJU KOH: This whole story is
giving al-Qaeda too much credit. This is a
group of 3,000 criminals. And probably a
thousand of them will leave if they think
they have a better future elsewhere. If you
are thirty years old and you can be a suicide
bomber or go back to Yemen and be a part
of the post-Arab-Spring life there and get
an education and make some money well,
most of these people dont care that much
right now about following Bin Laden. Hes
dead, right? So the Hydra theory assumes
some sort of innite vitality of al-Qaeda, as
opposed to the notion that they are an orga-
nization whose days are gone. Sometimes
you believe in the market. People are smart,
and if their company is about to fail, they
get out.

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You know, we have put these guys on a
pedestal and given them too much credit.
These are hoodlums. Many of them in their
twenties, illiterate, had no other opportuni-
ties. Take the guy in Boston: he wanted to
be a boxer, didnt make it, couldnt get a
job. Frankly, it seemed to be a function of
the bad economy. And remember, when
Hercules fought the Hydra, in the end he
succeeded, didnt he? He did kill the beast.
But the main thing is to cut off the support.
Thats where the Taliban in Afghanistan
comes in. Al-Qaeda is operating in many
different ways. In Afghanistan they are
ghting in the eld alongside the Taliban.
Now, in big parts of Afghanistan, women
are being educated; they have the Internet,
they have cell phones. Kabul is the fth-
fastest-growing city in the world. Life
expectancy has risen by thirty years. If
you are a Taliban, you would think maybe
you should run a business in the twenty-
rst century and live to be eighty years old
instead of getting yourself killed at 25.
MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS: But in other parts of
the Middle East you have all sorts of groups
afliated with al-Qaeda that see the Arab
Spring as a huge opportunity to achieve
their aims.
HAROLD HONGJU KOH: Al-Qaeda launched
the most successful attack, so twelve years
later, if you want to show your impor-
tance, you say you are also afliated with
al-Qaeda. That doesnt mean they actually
are part of al-Qaeda. Many bands imitate
the Beatles, but they are not actually part
of the Beatles.
MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS: But half of the
Syrian rebel force actually is part of the
Beatles now, isnt it?
HAROLD HONGJU KOH: There is one thing
that we maybe didnt fully understand. The
breakup of the authoritarian governments
of North Africa is not dissimilar to the
breakup of Yugoslavia after Tito. Its like
the breaking of an iceberg. A lot of weapons
released. Ghada had nothing if not weap-
ons. And these weapons get in the hands
of the Tuareg, and they start to beat the
military forces of Mali, and the French are
forced to come in. The Syrian opposition
is very splintered. Thats the danger with
arming these guys. Its not like the French
Resistance.
MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS: How much damage
has the war paradigm in the ght against
terror done to the trust in the rule of law in
the United States?
HAROLD HONGJU KOH: There is damage
done. But it should be reparable, partly
because of the generosity of our allies. They
know that America has a Jekyll and Hyde
way of doing things. I call it good and bad
exceptionalism. Sometimes Americans
can be the most maddening people on
earth. On the other hand, if you need genu-
ine leadership and commitment, they are
the ones who are most likely to give it: good
exceptionalism.
The problem is not so much the use of a
war paradigm, per se. Its the reliance on an
extreme war only paradigm, as opposed
to a more balanced paradigm. Balanced
paradigm means, if Osama Bin Laden is
in New York City or in Berlin, and he is a
criminal, you catch him and try him. Law
enforcement is a totally necessary and suf-
cient way to incapacitate him. But if he is in
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Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 7
Tora Bora in a cave and you cant get him, in
some other way it is different. The concept
of war as something between states needs
to be translated to cover a war between non-
state actors that operate across borders.
MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS: What can interna-
tional lawyers do to reassert the rule of law
in the ght against terror?
HAROLD HONGJU KOH: Translate, in a word.
We have twenty-rst-century problems;
we have twentieth-century law. When the
Geneva Conventions were drafted, to be
honest, they were not thinking about a guy
sitting at a computer changing an O to a
0. So there are two ways to respond. One is
what I called a black hole. This is the Bush
approach: to say that if the drafters didnt
think about it, there is no law; power con-
trols. You know, Macht, not Recht. The other
approach is Montesquieu: the spirit of the
laws. Al-Qaeda is not exactly like Japan as
an opposing force during World War II, but
there are laws, and we are trying to translate
them. You may disagree with the transla-
tion, as translators do. But we should at least
try to debate what the best translation is.
The Bush administrations greatest fail-
ure was its refusal to engage in a conversa-
tion with its allies. And in the beginning
Obama also didnt do enough on this issue.
I think he is trying now. He is saying, Now
I really need your best support, and you
can demand things in exchange. Demand
transparency, demand consultation,
demand more visible standards!
MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS: Maybe this transla-
tion issue wont be settled until this war is
actually won?
HAROLD HONGJU KOH: If it is won, everyone
will say its victors justice. The victor makes
the rules. But I also think that you dont
make as good of rules in the environment
of conict. There is too much at stake. As
you know, the important thing about law is
how it reasserts itself in the quiet periods.
It is very hard to create durable rules on
international criminal law while Milosevic
is slaughtering everybody. But you and I, we
are lawyers, and thats because we are opti-
mists. Because we believe that the more civi-
lized part of human beings will assert itself
in the face of the most fearsome violence.
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MAXIMILIAN STEINBEIS: That is optimistic,
indeed.
HAROLD HONGJU KOH: Im from Korea. In
1950, Korea was rubble. Germany? Rubble.
Sixty years later, these are huge economic
powers. The human spirit, as educated
by life, has incredible restorative capac-
ity. National identities are shaped by these
events. The German commitment to inter-
national criminal law, its deep commit-
ment against the death penalty and for the
peace constitution all of these are prod-
ucts of history. And my view is, I dont give
up on countries. I dont give up on people.
I come from a Korean immigrant family,
and now I am the chief international lawyer
of the United States. Who would expect this
to happen in someones lifetime? My family
is from a divided country. Their hope is that
their country will not be divided, although
I am not too enthusiastic with Kim-Jon
Un. But now I am in Berlin. I walk onto
Potsdamer Platz, and I think: Maybe this
will happen! As I said, dont stop believing.
Hold on to that feeling!
8 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
usual habits, into vehement opposition,
so much so that in the end I can only
advocate the most boring philistinism
(Spieertum).
The militancy of von Weizsckers reported
outburst is astonishing, and it calls for
explanation. But rst, let me review
Heisenbergs almost immediate account of
the long conversation with his former stu-
dent, trusted colleague, and good friend.
We do not know the questions that were
raised in Elisabeths exchange back then
with her best friend, Maria Westphal, but
we do know that Heisenberg talked about
the same questions with his friend. The
obliqueness of the reference indicates that
both conversations must have entered the
taboo zone of Nazi politics, a zone that apo-
litical people such as Elisabeth and Werner
Heisenberg normally shunned. Two things
are extremely untypical and thus notewor-
thy: the animus of the Heisenberg/von
Weizscker discussion, for one, and, second,
Heisenbergs profound admission as
much to himself as to his wife that he real-
ly is not getting along with von Weizscker.
This is an extraordinary confession. Both
men took oppositional positions on some
highly charged issues. What could have
been that divisive and unsettling?
Based on the quoted topic of a totally
destroyed city (likely a reference to the total
decimation of Hamburg in the last week of
July 1943 Britains Operation Gomorrah)
and the related experience of guilt and
punishment, one might assume that the
impending destruction of Germany was
at issue, as was the question of who was
nally to blame for this looming national
obliteration.
But what do we know about von
Weizsckers professed new faith and
its main tenets? According to Heisenberg,
this militant new faith was approaching
everything with the understanding that
one has to seek a last decision with re
A
fter World War II, the great
physicist Werner Heisenberg and
his colleague Carl Friedrich von
Weizscker often spoke, as has been said,
with one voice. This impression is rooted
in the fact that both scientists rarely, if ever,
contradicted one another in their public
accounts of the Uranverein, the clandes-
tine project that had attempted to develop
atomic weapons for Germany. Their expla-
nations evolved in lockstep over the years,
all the way until Heisenbergs death, in
February 1976. But this harmonious per-
formance in postwar West Germany cannot
be taken as an indicator of the true nature
of their relationship in Nazi Germany. That
relationship, it turns out, had at one point
been far more explosive.
For the rst two-and-a-half years of
World War II, the two men were closely
aligned in their institutional politics, cultur-
al hubris, and overall zeal. Yet this apparent
congruity dissolved when the easy phase
of the war ended and the hard part began,
during the winter of 1941/42 when the
battle for Moscow got underway. Lightning
war morphed into a war of attrition, and the
security of a German victory started to wob-
ble. It was in the wake of this development
that a sharp contrast between Heisenberg
and von Weizscker began to emerge.
The cities of central Germany were
no longer safe from aerial assaults.
Heisenbergs wife, Elisabeth, ed Leipzig.
In April 1943, she moved with the six
Heisenberg children (seven, eventually)
to the familys summer home, in rural
Urfeld at Lake Walchen, in Bavaria. (It is
there where her husband would later be
captured, in early May 1945, by Colonel
Boris Pash, the military leader of the
Manhattan Projects Alsos Mission, charged
with discovering all it could about the
German nuclear project.) As Elisabeth ed,
Heisenberg was working for the Uranverein
in the embattled German capital. And
in one exceptionally candid letter, dated
October 14, 1943, he told her how deeply at
odds with von Weizscker he found himself:
These days, there are constant meetings
about the war efforts. Carl Friedrich
v. Weizscker is here, and yesterday
evening I had a long conversation with
him about the same questions that you
had discussed with Frau Westphal back
then. I basically do not get along with
him at all; this way of approaching all
things on principle and always forc-
ing the last decision is so completely
alien to me. Weizs. says sentences like
this: He would be quite content in a
totally destroyed city because then one
would know for sure that it would not
come back, and that the people, based
on the experience of guilt and punish-
ment, would be ripe for another way of
thinking by which he means the new
faith, to which he himself professes
allegiance. Then he further says that
this faith is, of course, irreconcilably
hostile to the faith of the old world that
is, the world of the Anglo-Saxons and
that indeed Christ had also said he had
not come to bring peace, but rather the
sword whereupon one is back at the
beginning, i.e. whoever does not believe
the same as I do must be exterminated.
I nd this eternal circle of belief in the
holiest goods that must be defended
with re and sword completely unbear-
able; obviously, I am in this respect
utterly un-German, and in such a
discussion I am driven, contrary to my
NEGATIVE CHARGE
What strained the relationship between two of Germanys
most respected scientic thinkers?
By Wolf Schfer
I FIND THIS ETERNAL
CIRCLE OF BELIEF IN THE
HOLIEST GOODS THAT MUST
BE DEFENDED WITH FIRE
AND SWORD COMPLETELY
UNBEARABLE . . .
Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 9
and sword; totally uncompromising in
demanding the annihilation of everybody
holding a different opinion; and irrec-
oncilably hostile to the faith of the old
world represented by the Anglo-Saxons.
Hitlers frequent invocation of a struggle
for the last decision seems to resonate in
these amazing pronouncements. Deeply
disturbed, Heisenberg was impelled to tell
Elisabeth, It is good that I can unburden
my heart to you.
The chasm between Werner Heisenberg
and Carl Friedrich von Weizscker was
apparently deep and wide. Heisenberg
found himself on the un-German side,
and all he could muster was the most
boring philistinism. Since Heisenberg
does not provide concrete hints about his
counterarguments, we should not specu-
late about them. We may, however, surmise
that they were not irreconcilable but rather
capable of reconciliation; compromising,
not uncompromising. We may also assume
that they concerned German versus Anglo-
Saxon guilt and punishment. This fact
remains: as close as these two members of
the Uranverein may have been before the
war, in the Blitzkrieg years, and again after
the war, their union ruptured dramatically
in 1943. It is difcult to imagine that either
man could ever forget this enormous differ-
ence of opinion. This is what makes their
cordial postwar performance on behalf
of the Uranvereins wartime history even
more curious and impressive.
P
hilosophy was von Weizsckers
original intellectual passion, and
learning physics was how he
approached it, thanks to Heisenberg. To
nd the source of von Weizsckers apparent
radicalism, we must follow his engagement
with philosophy, particularly German phi-
losophy of the early twentieth century and
more particularly, that of Martin Heidegger.
Carl Friedrich von Weizscker met
Heidegger for the rst time in 1935 under
circumstances of a major Vorbild (role
model) constellation. Someone irgend
jemand, von Weizscker is clearly vague
about this person had asked Heidegger
to pair the Nobel Laureate Heisenberg
with Professor Viktor von Weizscker, Carl
Friedrichs uncle and a noted physician and
physiologist, for a conversation about phys-
ics and medicine. Heidegger invited the two
men, and they visited him in his famous cot-
tage in Todtnauberg, near Freiburg, in the
Black Forest. Von Weizscker, Heisenbergs
assistant at the time, was brought along.
Later, von Weizscker recounted what he
had witnessed: Heidegger listened until
the two discussants had reached a point of
mutual incomprehension, then he summa-
rized Viktor von Weizsckers arguments
in three perfectly clear sentences, after
which von Weizsckers uncle admitted that
they captured exactly what he wanted to say.
Then Heidegger turned to Heisenberg and
captured his points in three completely
precise sentences, and von Weizsckers
teacher afrmed that they expressed what
he meant to say. Then the philosopher elu-
cidated in four or ve sentences what the
link between the two positions could be,
and both speakers agreed with Heideggers
interpretation. In 1970, von Weizscker con-
cluded this anecdote with what he gleaned
from the encounter:
This, my rst meeting with Heidegger,
has made me see that Heidegger . . . is
capable of hearing and understanding
what is thought, and to understand
it better than those have understood
it who have thought it themselves.
I would say: That is a Thinker.
CARL FRIEDRICH VON WEIZSCKER (1949), MARTIN HEIDEGGER (1950), WERNER HEISENBERG (1955)
W
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I
Z
S

C
K
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R

A
N
D

H
E
I
S
E
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B
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G


U
L
L
S
T
E
I
N

B
I
L
D
;

H
E
I
D
E
G
G
E
R


G
E
T
T
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I
M
A
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E
S
.
10 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
Later, Heidegger is designated the
most important philosopher in von
Weizsckers reminiscence and the phi-
losopher of the twentieth century. Since
this rst encounter in 1935, von Weizscker
met Heidegger regularly, at least every
two years for the next 37 years. In order
to explain the portent of this biannual
pilgrimage, it is important to remember
that von Weizscker was drawn to role
models, and he found his ideal of a philoso-
pher in Heidegger, who became for von
Weizscker a philosophical Fhrer, as it
were. Von Weizsckers view of Heidegger
as the thinker who hears and understands
better what is thought than those who
have thought it rst thus opens itself to
Heideggers interpretation of the crucial
historical moment of Germany in the early
1940s.
Heidegger lectured at Freiburg
University during the summer semester
1942 on Friedrich Hlderlin, who was,
incidentally, the one poet von Weizscker
carried with him to his internment at
Farm Hall, in Godmanchester, England,
after being captured by the Allied forces.
Contemplating the essence of poetry,
technology, politics, ancient Greece, and
modern Germany through a deep reading
of Hlderlins hymn on the river Danube,
Heidegger claried the historical situation
in the darkening months of World War II:
We know today that the Anglo-Saxon
world of Americanism has resolved
to annihilate Europe, that is, the
homeland [Heimat], and that means:
the commencement of the Western
world. Whatever has the character
of commencement is indestructible.
Americas entry into this planetary war
is not its entry into history; rather, it
is already the ultimate American act
of American ahistoricality and self-
devastation. For this act is the renun-
ciation of commencement, and a deci-
sion in favor of that which is without
commencement.
Germany had declared itself to be in a
state of war with the United States on
December 11, 1941, four days after the
Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Yet
Heidegger is certain that Americanism
has resolved to annihilate Europe. And
though Hitler was trying to make Europe
coextensive with Germany through serial
wars that fact did not matter. Europe was
the homeland, the homeland was the
commencement (das Anfngliche), and
American historylessness was the renun-
ciation of commencement. (To translate
Anfang des Abendlndischen, by the way, as
commencement of the Western world is
inaccurate. For Heidegger, the Occidental
(das Abendlndische) was not part of what
is commonly understood as the Western
world. The Anglo-Saxon countries,
Great Britain and especially the ahistori-
cal United States, were un-European and
hence un-Western in terms of Heideggers
denition of Occidental.)
In order to make sense of Heideggers
mental map, it is important to understand
the anti-technological thrust of his phi-
losophy. Heideggers mission, as he saw
it, was to confront, as the philosopher
Michael Zimmerman has written, the
construction of the technological uni-
verse. Germanys enemy, the enemy of the
Occidental Heideggers enemy was the
rising global techno-scientic civilization.
Its geopolitical agents the democratic
West and the communist East surround-
ed the Occidental, as well as the fatherland.
The proponents of this civilization, Great
Britain, the United States, and the Soviet
Union, were the foes of Heideggers meta-
physical Europe. Therefore it was Germany
the metaphysical nation that was ulti-
mately ghting for the survival of Europe
in ghting the Allies of World War II. For
Heidegger, a historical battle was raging in
1942 in which, as he wrote, ahistoricality
and historicality are decisively at issue.
One year later, in 1943, von Weizsckers
subterranean radicalism burst in on
Heisenberg or should we say: Heidegger
reached out to Heisenberg through von
Weizscker? Solely based on Heisenbergs
above account, one can only say that his
professed new faith is what enabled von
Weizscker to take a totally destroyed
city in stride, oppose the Anglo-Saxon
world, try to force nal decisions, and to
defend the most sacred goods with re
and sword. Could that not have been
articulated as well by Heidegger? No doubt.
Heidegger was a militant thinker and fond
of aggressive formulations. It is rather von
Weizscker, the diplomat fathers son, who
is not recognizable in Heisenbergs tanta-
lizing letter.
The eminent role Heidegger played
for von Weizscker can be deduced from
the many visits, awed conversations, and
long walks in the woods with the master
thinker. It would be nave not to assume
that Heidegger captivated the young von
Weizscker, who writes, In Todtnauberg,
the conversation almost always continued
on longer walks and many a formulation,
then also of a more casual kind, has stayed
with me together with the surrounding
nature. Eventually and inexorably, the
conversation moved from physics to phi-
losophy: Proceeding from physics and
mathematics one landed inevitably in the
middle of the great intellectual decisions of
modern and Greek philosophy.
It is inconceivable that von Weizsckers
private conversations with Heidegger
about the great intellectual decisions of
past and present philosophy would not
touch the war, modernity, technology,
Germany, Hitler, National Socialism,
Bolshevism, and Americanism the topics
that occupied Heidegger. We also have to
assume that Heidegger listened when von
Weizscker spoke about modern science,
and that von Weizscker listened when
Heidegger spoke about the Big Issues.
Though Heideggers inuence on von
Weizscker was likely very strong, we can-
not picture the young physicist and philoso-
pher entirely clearly until von Weizsckers
wartime correspondence and other private
sources become available. We only know
the mature von Weizscker, who kept tell-
ing versions of the past, forever memorial-
izing his role model:
I have heard said that even before
1933 he [Heidegger] placed hopes in
National Socialism. In the winter of
1933/34 a student from Freiburg told
me: Around Heidegger they invented
Freiburg National Socialism. More
quietly they say that the true Third
Reich hasnt really begun yet; thats still
coming.
GERMANYS ENEMY, THE ENEMY OF THE OCCIDENTAL
HEIDEGGERS ENEMY WAS THE RISING GLOBAL TECHNO-
SCIENTIFIC CIVILIZATION. ITS GEOPOLITICAL AGENTS
THE DEMOCRATIC WEST AND THE COMMUNISTIC EAST
SURROUNDED THE OCCIDENTAL, AS WELL AS THE FATHERLAND.
Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 11
the University of Freiburg, he turned away
from real existing Nazism; he nonetheless
kept his Party membership in good stand-
ing until 1945. Finally, following the 1934
estrangement from Party ofcialdom, he
spiked his Freiburg lectures with a uto-
pian version of Nazism.
Unlike Heidegger, von Weizscker
never joined the National Socialist German
Workers Party. Though he was tempted,
he never committed, perhaps because his
father [Ernst von Weizscker] had told
him, Listen, dont trust this Hitler. Von
Weizscker heeded the advice because, in
politics, he wrote, my father was always
an authority for me. Carl Friedrich might
have listened to his father then, but he
did not consult him in 1941 when he was
playing with the idea of talking to Hitler
about the atom bomb, even though he was
actually always very open with his father.
Fearing his fathers laughter, Carl Friedrich
self-censored the otherwise open exchange
and kept silent about his dream of a nucle-
ar-armed Third Reich pursuing a policy of
peace. This strategic silence is indicative of
von Weizsckers ability to compartmental-
ize and of his inability to share potentially
Heidegger indeed harbored an idiosyn-
cratic idea of the inner truth and greatness
of National Socialism, but we cant be abso-
lutely sure about von Weizscker. The inter-
national debate about Heideggers philoso-
phy and its connection to Nazism remains
unresolved, yet the discussion of Heidegger
and the Third Reich is at least factually fair-
ly conclusive. Tom Rockmore and Joseph
Margolis, the editors of Heidegger and
Nazism (1991), have distinguished a triple
turning of Heideggers politico-historical
perspectives. First, Heidegger embraced
National Socialism. Like so many others,
he joined the nsdap on May 1, 1933. Then,
in 1934, after his infamous rectorship of
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ANZ_Academy_engl_Berlin_02.indd 1 24.09.13 14:48
FEARING HIS FATHERS
LAUGHTER, CARL FRIEDRICH
SELF-CENSORED THE
OTHERWISE OPEN EXCHANGE
AND KEPT SILENT ABOUT HIS
DREAM OF A NUCLEAR-ARMED
THIRD REICH PURSUING A
POLICY OF PEACE.
laughable leanings with people he relied
on, such as his attraction to Heideggers
utopian National Socialism. That Werner
Heisenberg was shocked at his friends
suspiciously zealous proclivities during
their conversation that day in October 1943
makes sense in this light. Von Weizscker
had secrets, and few secrets can be kept
forever.

Wolf Schfer, the Anna Maria Kellen


Fellow at the American Academy in fall
2013, is a professor of history and the
associate dean of international academ-
ic programs at Stony Brook University.
Note: For further reading and original
German quotations, see Wolf Schfer,
Plutoniumbombe und zivile Atomkraft:
Carl Friedrich von Weizsckers Beitrge
zum Dritten Reich und zur Bundesrepublik,
in Leviathan, 41(2013)3, 383421, and Der
utopische Nationalsozialismus Ein
gemeinsamer Fluchtpunkt im Denken von
Martin Heidegger und Carl Friedrich von
Weizscker? forthcoming in Acta Historica
Leopoldina, 64(2013).
12 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
THE HOUSE
THAT MIES BUILT
A luminous architectural gem becomes a black box for political fantasy
By Dietrich Neumann
P
H
O
T
O
G
R
A
P
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C
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U
R
T
E
S
Y

A
N
D

C
O
P
Y
R
I
G
H
T

H
A
S
A
N

B
A
G
H
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R
I
,

2
0
1
2
LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE, BARCELONA PAVILION, 1929. BARCELONA, SPAIN (RECONSTRUCTED, 19831986)
Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 13
CAPTION TO COME CAPTION TO COME CAPTION TO COME
T
he building that was praised so
soulfully in 1929 has long been con-
sidered one of the most signicant
structures of the interwar period. It was
the pavilion of the German Reich at the
Worlds Fair in Barcelona and stood for only
seven months before it was dismantled at
the end of the exhibition. More than fty
years later it was rebuilt on its former site.
New research about the buildings genesis
shows the complexities and limits of archi-
tectural interpretation.
What made the building so important
in the eyes of its contemporaries and of
generations of architectural historians and
critics since were both its architectural
signicance and its symbolic and political
role. The pavilion offered to its visitors a
sequence of spatial situations, openly con-
nected and each subtly different, framed
by wall-high slabs of semi-precious stone,
glass, and travertine and punctuated
by eight chromium-covered cruciform
columns. The depth of the roof overhang
provided coolness and shade, and the
luminous play on the ceiling echoed the
ripples of the water of its two pools. One
of the pools was part of the outside terrace;
a smaller one, with Georg Kolbes 1925
statue Alba (Dawn) in it, was accessible
from inside the pavilion, enclosed but open
to the sky. Despite three different kinds
of marble onyx dor, timos, and vert
antique and three colors of glass white,
green, and gray as well as a black carpet
and a red curtain, the overall impression
was of a carefully calibrated composition.
At night, a luminous wall at the center pro-
vided a calm counterpoise to the color and
light spectacle of the fair.
AS IF FROM A FAIRY TALE, NOT
OF THE ARABIAN NIGHTS, BUT
FROM AN ALMOST SUPER-
NATURALLY INSPIRED MUSIC
OF ETERNAL SPACE, NOT AS
A HOUSE, BUT AS A DRAWING
OF LINES IN SPACE BY A HAND
THAT DEFINES THE HUMAN
REACH TOWARDS INFINITY. WE
GERMANS OWE GRATITUDE TO
MIES VAN DER ROHE, FOR HE
HAS SUCCEEDED IN CASTING
OUR SPIRITUAL EXISTENCE
INTO FORM. . . .
14 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
The daring power of this concept cannot
be overestimated. Instead of marketable
commodities, indigenous products, or
recent inventions, as in the other national
pavilions, here, on display, was a new
approach to architecture and space its
vague suggestions of a domestic setting
implied patterns of a life altogether differ-
ent. It was, as the German critic Justus Bier
put it:
A building without function, or at least
without apparent, tangible, or obvi-
ous function a building dedicated to
representation, an empty space, and
for this very reason Space-In-Itself,
architecture as a free art, the expres-
sion of a spiritual commitment. That
this commission has found its way into
the hands of Mies van der Rohe, and
that Germany is represented by a build-
ing of modern architecture, is to be
welcomed.
The German Reich was represented in
Barcelona for the rst time at an inter-
national fair after the disaster of World
War I. It had recently been admitted to
the League of Nations in Geneva, a result
of foreign minister Gustav Stresemanns
skillful negotiations. At the opening of the
pavilion, the German commissioner, Georg
von Schnitzler, a high-ranking manager
at the chemical conglomerate IG Farben,
made a case for the buildings political
signicance:
We wanted to be able to demonstrate
what we want, what we can do, who
we are, what we feel and see today. We
want nothing but clarity, decency,
honesty . . . . Here is the spirit of the
New Germany: simplicity and clarity
of means and intentions everything
is open, nothing is concealed. It is a
piece of work honestly done, without
arrogance. This is the quiet home of a
peaceful Germany.
This set the tone for the buildings future
interpretation. It became a convincing
symbol for Germanys young democracy
and its cultural and political aspirations.
The simple, unornamented forms of
the modern movement had for the last
decade been associated with progressive
causes new housing projects had been
built under social democratic mayors in
Berlin and Frankfurt, and the Bauhaus in
Dessau had recently made headlines when
a communist was appointed director. The
strongest fraction and the chancellor of the
current government in Berlins Reichstag
were social democrats. The alignment of a
particular formal vocabulary with progres-
sive politics seemed to have continued in
Barcelona.
Archival documents complicate the
picture considerably. When the German
government agreed to participate in
Barcelonas Worlds Fair after urgent and
consistent pleas from the Spanish organiz-
ers it did so hesitatingly and wary of the
costs involved. It rmly stated that while
German industry should be present in
Barcelona, there was no need, and there
were no funds, for the small representative
pavilion that the Spanish delegates had
suggested. Georg von Schnitzler was asked
to coordinate the German participation. He
hired the architect Ludwig Mies van der
Rohe and his partner Lilly Reich to oversee
the design of the exhibits.
Despite clear government directives
against a separate German pavilion, and
without the available funds, von Schnitzler
still promised one to the Spanish organiz-
ers, and he commissioned Mies to design it.
As a result, the anticipated costs increased
to almost four times the budgeted amount.
When things were well under way, von
Schnitzler requested additional funds.
Perhaps unexpectedly, he encountered
erce and angry resistance from the gov-
erning parties. The Social Democrats in
particular were steadfast in their refusal
to release any more money. Only thanks
to the diplomatic efforts of foreign min-
ister Stresemann, a member of the small
and conservative coalition partner dvp
(German Peoples Party), some additional
funds were approved, albeit only a fraction
of what von Schnitzler needed.
The building of the pavilion stopped
immediately, and the exhibition program
was scaled down. For 16 days the unn-
ished building lay idle in the midst of the
hectic construction efforts at the Worlds
Fair site. Finally, a telegram arrived from
Berlin, announcing that a loan had been
secured. Work continued, and the pavilion
opened a week later than planned, to great
international acclaim. Despite the pavil-
ions critical success, the government con-
tinued to withhold any additional funds. In
the end, it was von Schnitzler himself and
his employer IG Farben who footed a large
part of the bill.
A
previously unacknowledged
key gure in the pavilions history
is Lilly von Schnitzler (18891981),
Georg von Schnitzlers wife, a grande dame
of Frankfurt society, an avid art collector
and patron, and editor and writer who
corresponded with many major gures
of her time. She assembled a substantial
collection of paintings by Max Beckmann
and supported him during the war in his
Amsterdam exile.
Thanks to her writing and publication
activities, we know a lot about Lillys politi-
cal aspirations. It was Lilly, for example,
who had convinced her husband to hire
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and to com-
mission a separate German pavilion, and
she probably helped formulate the words
spoken at the opening. Her own review
of the fair and Mies van der Rohes pavil-
ion (briey quoted at the opening of this
article) appeared in a magazine called Die
Europische Revue, which she had founded
in 1925, together with the Austrian aris-
tocrat, political activist, and writer Karl
Anton Prinz Rohan (18981975).
The Europische Revue was partially
nanced by the cultural funds of her hus-
bands employer IG Farben. Initially, it had
an impressive list of contributors, among
them Theodor Heuss, Thomas Mann,
Hugo von Hoffmansthal, Paul Valry, and
Winston Churchill. As the public face of an
organization that Prinz Rohan had founded
called the Europischer Kulturbund
(European Cultural Association), the maga-
zine promoted the vision of a conservative,
elitist, pan-European aristocracy of suc-
cessful intellectuals, industrialists, and
nanciers as an alternative to a culture and
government ruled by a democracy of the
masses. Karl Anton Rohan had declared
that he rejected the ideas of 1789 parlia-
mentarism, democracy, equality, and lib-
erty and instead imagined a conservative
revolution of benign dictatorships.
Spain had been governed since 1923 by
the dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera (1870
1930), who was tolerated by the king. Lilly
von Schnitzlers above-quoted essay about
the Fair ended with a comment about the
Spanish situation and her willingness
to embrace a similar turn of events in
Germany:
Spain seems to be the last European
haven for conviction, attitude, character,
metaphysics values through which
alone Europe can recover and resist
the impending Americanism. Spains
Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 15
experiment in Barcelona, which is
symptomatic for all of Spain, to drive
out the devil with the help of Lucifer, is
for all of us a most enthralling adven-
ture, whose result can become authori-
tative for us as well.
During the Worlds Fair Lilly and Georg
von Schnitzler organized a conference
with Karl Anton Rohan for the Europische
Kulturbund under the title Le problme
sociale de la vulgarisation de la culture.
Among the speakers were Carl Schmitt, the
inuential German political theorist and
soon-to-be major voice in Nazi ideology, the
Italian Fascist Giuseppe Bottai, and many
other conservative intellectuals (Anatole
de Monzie, Aldous Huxley, and Rudolf
Binding among them). Georg and Lilly von
Schnitzler did not miss the opportunity to
instrumentalize their pavilion. On the
rst evening, they guided the delegates
through the German pavilion and the rest
of the German section.
Less than two years later, when the
Europische Kulturbund was drifting
further to the right and had lost some of its
prominent members, Lilly von Schnitzlers
friend and protg Max Beckmann painted
some members of her conservative circle at
a seemingly disjointed and joyless cocktail
party in Paris. Georg von Schnitzler is vis-
ible in the lower left corner; blonde Lilly
sits in a pink dress a bit left of center, the
station occupied by the mustachioed Karl
Anton Rohan. Also present: French politi-
cian Anatole de Monzie, Frankfurt banker
Albert Hahn, and German Ambassador
Leopold von Hoesch, who sits at the bottom
right, nearly camouaged, with his head in
his hands.
Karl Anton Prinz Rohan joined the
nsdap (National Socialist German Workers
Party) soon after their rise to power, in 1933.
His magazine continued to appear until
1944, secretly funded by Goebbels Ministry
of Propaganda. Despite their closeness to
Stresemanns dvp (German Peoples Party),
Lilly and Georg von Schnitzler were will-
ing to tolerate and cooperate with the Nazis.
Georg von Schnitzlers wartime work with
IG Farben in several occupied countries ulti-
mately led to his conviction as a war crimi-
nal at the Nuremberg trials.
A
t the opening of the Barcelona
Pavilion, Georg von Schnitzler had
declared that it represented what
we want, what we can do, who we are, what
we feel and see today. Undoubtedly, the
vision that Georg and Lilly von Schnitzler
had of the current and future Weimar
Republic was of a deeply conservative politi-
cal nature, and it was almost diametrically
opposed to what we generally associate
with Weimars progressive politics. It is not
without signicance that the minimalist
clarity of Mies van der Rohes architecture
seemed to the Schnitzlers an appropriate
representation of such a vision. The fact
that many of modern architectures main
protagonists had aligned it in the 1920s
with the political Left, and that the National
Socialists soon condemned it as Bolshevik
and Jewish, has long obscured a rather
complex reality. The Modern Style at
least in the rened and luxurious version
in which Mies presented it had not only
become acceptable for deeply conservative
clients like the von Schnitzlers, it became
capable of representing the German Reich
they envisioned.
Dietrich Neumann is Professor for the
History of Modern Architecture and
Urbanism at Brown University and a
fall 2013 Nina Maria Gorrissen Fellow
at the American Academy.


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MAX BECKMANN, GESELLSCHAFT PARIS, 1931. OIL ON CANVAS, 109.2 X 175.6 CM
16 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
DIMITRIS MICHALAKIS, FROM THE SERIES EGYPT 20092013. C-PRINT


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Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 17
THE
TINDERBOX
OF HISTORY
Sources of the conagration engulng the Arab world
By Lisa Anderson
T
he spark was small. In December
of 2010 a small-town vendor in the
hinterlands of Tunisia set himself on
re. Within months, large swathes of the
Arab world were ablaze. Today, the region
seems to be consumed by wildre some
areas contained, some out of control; gov-
ernments desperately building rebreaks
or trying to manage controlled burns, as
ames jump barriers and shift directions.
Smoke obscures the view, and the efforts to
quench the ames sometimes seem to do
as much damage as the re itself.
The re metaphor is apt. A century
of . . . suppression, coupled with the rapid
expansion of human developments, reads
the Proceedings of the Second International
Symposium on Fire Economics, Planning,
and Policy, has greatly increased . . . risk to
people and their communities. These twin
features of modern life expanding settle-
ment and policies of suppression have
made wildres far more damaging and
much more difcult to control when they
occur. The same might be said of politi-
cal conict: it is more difcult to control
and more damaging when it breaks out if
accompanied by population growth par-
ticularly in novel territorial congurations
and coupled with policies of suppression.
This is nowhere more true, of course, than
in the Arab Middle East, where novel and
often fragile political arrangements have
been implanted over the last century with-
out sufcient regard to their sustainability.
Like real res, the causes of the upheaval
in the Arab world are immediate and proxi-
mate. The simple and ultimately unbear-
able humiliation of a policewomans slap
pushed Mohamed Bouazizi to set himself
on re. But the contents of the larger
tinderbox of the regions protests are the
multifaceted resentment of a century of
rapid expansion, dramatic alterations in
the political and ecological landscape, and
the subsequent efforts by leaders to prevent
fundamental change. Examining the cen-
tury beginning in the rubble of World War
I reveals a great deal about the particular
strategies of growth and suppression that
produced todays increasingly precarious
situation and that may shape the ultimate
course of the conagration in the region.
The borders of the states outlined on the
map of the Middle East today were drawn
shortly after World War I, on lands once gov-
erned by the Ottoman Empire an empire
that put less store in territorial control than
in administering populations often popu-
lations dened by religious, sectarian, trib-
al, or other aspects of personal identity. The
new boundaries were designed in Europe,
and they reected both a new emphasis on
territorial jurisdiction and an unfamiliar
focus on European interests. The terms by
which the Europeans designated their pos-
sessions in the region varied. Some, like
French Algeria and Italian Libya, were to be
integral parts of the metropole, while oth-
ers, like French Tunisia and British Egypt,
were protectorates, ruled indirectly by the
imperial powers. Still others, like Palestine
and Syria, were mandates, British and
French respectively. The mandates were
territories of the former Ottoman Empire
for which the international community,
through the League of Nations, assigned
peoples not yet able to stand by themselves
under the strenuous conditions of the mod-
ern world with tutelage . . . entrusted

18 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
to advanced nations who by reason of their
resources, their experience, or their geo-
graphical position can best undertake this
responsibility.
In all cases including those realms that
remained ostensibly independent, such as
Saudi Arabia, where international oil com-
panies played a comparable role the pro-
tection and tutelage of the imperial pow-
ers entailed the imposition of European
models of state administration. Like the
urban developments that have increasingly
encroached on tracts of forest and prairie
around the world, these state institutions
changed the landscape, dislocating and
unsettling local conventions of responsibil-
ity, loyalty, and identity. Boundaries were
demarcated, police forces established, laws
promulgated and enforced, taxes levied
and collected, tax collectors hired and
paid, nomads settled, peasants brought to
markets, roads, railroads, and ports built,
schools opened and staffed, weights and
measures standardized. Far from serving
merely as caretakers, the colonial regimes
reshaped many of the most fundamental
aspects of daily life.
This did not take place in the mythical
virgin territory of the imperial imagina-
tion. These novel organizational structures,
incentives, laws, and procedures were
superimposed upon pre-existing social,
economic, and political practices and iden-
tities. As the varied and variously interested
parties around the Paris Peace Conference
attest from Hashemite claimants to non-
existent thrones, Egyptian founders of the
Wafd (Delegation) Party, Zionist leaders,
and Armenian representatives there were
many peoples in the region who thought
that they were quite capable of standing
by themselves, though they were not orga-
nized as European-style states. There were
other denitions and organizational struc-
tures for community and identity in the
region. For loyalists of these kinds of com-
munities, the imposition of the European-
style sovereign state is what disturbed the
social order.
The interwar efforts to fasten sovereign
territorial states to the populations of the
region reected the European soon to be
international principle that such states
were to be the organizational structure for
participation in what the League of Nations
called civilization. This was to mean that
aspirations to be rid of European domina-
tion were necessarily couched in terms
of independence for such political units.
Only states, understood as the territorial
units imposed by European imperialism,
could hope to join the advanced nations
that represented civilization. Alternate
vehicles for political community were
disqualied; it was inconceivable that the
Utaibah tribe of the Arabian Peninsula, for
example, or the erstwhile Ottoman Empire,
the Islamic community of the faithful, the
Berbers of North Africa, aramco, the
Sanusi religious brotherhood, the Saudi
royal family, or any other kind of actual
or potential political community could
become independent as such.
Thus, for example, the Alawi and Druze
religious communities of Syria were
briey accorded autonomy by the French
Mandatory authorities but ultimately failed
to win the recognition their Christian
counterparts in Lebanon enjoyed; they
were reabsorbed into territorial Syria by
the 1930s. In many mandate territories,
and indeed elsewhere in the region, how-
ever, the Europeans found it convenient to
favor minority populations, creating local
clients among Alawis, who were recruited
into the French Syrian Army; Jews, who
were provided a special homeland in
Palestine; Sunnis, who furnished and sup-
ported a monarch in predominately Shia
Iraq; Christians, who represented a bare
majority in newly constituted Lebanon;
and even further aeld, Berbers in Algeria
and Morocco, who were given special
administrative and education opportuni-
ties unavailable to their Arab countrymen.
In other words, the establishment of these
territorial states was not accompanied by
the promotion of the attributes of formal
citizenship that were integral to European
statehood. Far from being eroded and
replaced by state patriotism, non-state
identities and loyalties were reinforced by
European imperial policy.
FAR FROM SERVING MERELY AS
CARETAKERS, THE COLONIAL
REGIMES RESHAPED MANY OF THE
MOST FUNDAMENTAL ASPECTS OF
DAILY LIFE.

In this context, peoples and communi-
ties aspiring to rule themselves adopted the
formal attributes of states without neces-
sarily embracing the counterpart identity.
Just as the Zionists in Palestine trans-
formed the Balfour Declarations Jewish
Homeland into the independent State
of Israel setting the stage for decades
of debate about the role of Jewish identity
in Israeli citizenship so too elsewhere,
tribes, sects, and ethnic groups banned
together, repressed mutual hostilities,
and claimed sovereignty. The successor
states saved the question of their identity
until independence was secured, and
then, for several decades, their inhabit-
ants debated the merits of those political
associations, contesting the independence
of Lebanon, experimenting with the
short-lived Egyptian-Syrian United Arab
Republic, debating the costs and benets of
Jordanian claims to sovereignty in the West
Bank territories of Palestine, and disputing
the status of the Western Sahara, the unity
of Yemen, the autonomy of the Libya prov-
ince of Cyrenaica, Iraqi claims to Kuwait,
the Saudi-Omani border, and many other
unsettled differences.
M
ost of the upheaval of the
rst decades of independence
was over by the late 1970s, and
the stability of the succeeding decades in
the Middle East seemed to convey acqui-
escence to, if not satisfaction with, the
territorial states bequeathed the region by
European imperialism. Arab nationalist
aspirations to challenge the legitimacy of
the local states had come to naught, and the
region seemed to settle into a sort of sullen
political stability. The new neighborhood
had been built; the imperative now was
to suppress threats to its stability. For the
next 35 years there was virtually no regime
change and very little genuine politics at
all. A brief irtation with liberalization
in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin
Wall quickly ended with the Algerian coup
against Islamist victories in parliamentary
elections in 1991. The subsequent decade-
long civil war in Algeria seemed a steep
price for genuinely contested elections, and
THE NEW NEIGHBORHOOD HAD BEEN BUILT; THE IMPERATIVE NOW
WAS TO SUPPRESS THREATS TO ITS STABILITY. FOR THE NEXT 35 YEARS
THERE WAS VIRTUALLY NO REGIME CHANGE AND VERY LITTLE GENUINE
POLITICS AT ALL.

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PFI_AZ_Get_older_210x135_RZ.indd 1 09.08.13 19:57
Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 19
many governments in the region quietly
encouraged their malcontents to slip off to
Afghanistan to ght a distant war and sup-
pressed other efforts at genuine reform.
That suppression was accompanied by
widespread stagnation and growing resent-
ment, however, and it was often couched
in loyalty to communities and identities of
the past. This was acknowledged indeed,
insisted on by none other than Osama
Bin Laden, who reminded listeners in the
broadcast in which he acknowledged al-
Qaedas responsibility for the attacks of
September 11, 2001 that what the United
States tasted today is a very small thing
compared to what we have tasted for tens
of years. Our nation has been tasting this
humiliation and contempt for more than
eighty years. Should his audience have
missed the signicance of the illusion to
eighty years, he claried it several weeks
later: Following World War I, which
ended more than 83 years ago, the whole
Islamic world fell under the crusader ban-
ner under the British, French, and Italian
governments. In this broadcast, moreover,
he identied the successor to the League of
Nations as part of the problem.
For several years our brothers have
been killed, our women have been
raped, and our children have been mas-
sacred in the safe havens of the United
Nations and with its knowledge and
cooperation. . . . Those who refer things
to the international legitimacy have
disavowed the legitimacy of the holy
book and the tradition of the prophet
Muhammad, Gods peace and blessings
be upon him.
Alienation from the modern states of the
Middle East, exemplied by Bin Laden and
his followers, was hardly universal in the
region, but neither was it entirely excep-
tional. While disappointment and disil-
lusionment with regional states was deep
and widespread, such sentiments were
only rarely expressed in outright support
of al-Qaeda or other violent movements.
They were rather exhibited in what from
the states perspective is corruption that
is, reliance on friends, family, ethnic, and
religious ties to obtain access to education,
health care, employment, authorizations
to sell, to manufacture, to trade, to travel.
Increasingly, inhabitants of the Middle East
had grown unashamed, and sometimes
even proud, to be bypassing and subverting
the state and its administrative injunc-
tions in order to live a reasonable life in the
twenty-rst century.
A
nd so here we are. For most
people in the modern Middle East,
public institutions associated with
internationally recognized states of the
region are neither trustworthy nor legiti-
mate. Born in the demise of the Ottoman
Empire, midwifed by European imperial
powers, and nurtured in the Cold War, exist-
ing states had been poorly designed and
hastily built. Post-independence efforts
to renovate them to suit their inhabitants
and the local environment were subverted;
indeed, even discussion of the inconvenient
needs and desires of the people who lived
there was suppressed.
Emboldened by their numbers in young
and growing populations, empowered by
the new technologies driving a wave of
global populism, these young, unemployed,
often well-educated and always disaffected
people in the Arab world gathered into
often leaderless mass movements

Were getting older.
And thats good news.
Its the little moments that mean so much
to us. We want to be able to cherish those
moments for many tomorrows to come.
Pzer is working around the world to this
end. For more than 160 years, we have been
researching and developing innovative drugs
to help people improve their health and
quality of life at all ages. Every day, we make
every effort to put our vision into action:
Working together for a healthier world.
Get Old
www.pzer.de
PFI_AZ_Get_older_210x135_RZ.indd 1 09.08.13 19:57
20 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
against aging, unresponsive, and repres-
sive regimes, refusing to be ignored and
neglected any longer. In some places
places where ethnic, tribal, and religious
resentments smoldered for decades but
were never fully extinguished these ash
mobs of protest burst into guerilla forces
and militias, fueled by transregional net-
works of money and sentiment. In work-
ing those networks, and challenging the
legitimacy of the putative states, they have
challenged the very purposes of twentieth-
century states: the borders and markets,
police, laws, and taxes of what the League of
Nations had called the civilized world.
The impact of the recent conagration
is different in different environments,
of course. In Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya,
conventional Islamist groups such as al-
Nahda in Tunisia, the Muslim Brotherhood
in Egypt, and comparable groups in Libya
have struggled to make the transition from
illegal opposition to government. Not only
did each of them lack experience in public
administration, they also reected a failure
to evolve. Their very mid-twentieth-century
hierarchy and discipline was ill suited to
the aspirations of a generation disenchant-
ed with authority of all kinds and who were
searching for new ways to express solidar-
ity and to dene and regulate communities.
In the former mandates Syria, Lebanon,
Palestine, Jordan, and Iraq attachment to
religious identities is far more divisive, in
part because of the legacies of European
rule, in part because of the suppression of
their grievances well into the twenty-rst
century.
Given the dearth of consensus that has
evolved on the positive purposes of these
various revolts, beyond the elemental
demands for bread, dignity, and social jus-
tice, they have been far less effective in suc-
cessfully imagining, much less engineering,
new governments. Like the wildres that
ravage forests and suburbs, indiscriminately
consuming woodlands and towns, political
conagrations are destructive. And while,
like their natural counterparts, they may
clear the eld for healthy new growth, they
do not contain in themselves new building
plans or seedlings. The transitions that have
followed the fall of regimes in the region
have proven protracted and contentious and
have yet to bear fruit. But there are already at
least two useful lessons to be drawn: human
innovation whether physical or political is
sustainable only when it is suited to the envi-
ronment and is well-built; and, second, com-
plete suppression cannot substitute for the
managed conict and regular renewal char-
acteristic of accountable government.
Lisa Anderson is the president of
the American University in Cairo
and a fall 2013 Richard C. Holbrooke
Distinguished Visitor at the American
Academy.
IN TUNISIA, EGYPT, AND LIBYA, CONVENTIONAL ISLAMIST GROUPS
SUCH AS AL-NAHDA IN TUNISIA, THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD IN EGYPT,
AND COMPARABLE GROUPS IN LIBYA HAVE STRUGGLED TO MAKE THE
TRANSITION FROM ILLEGAL OPPOSITION TO GOVERNMENT.

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Tel.: + 49 (0) 89 63822 - 25
Fax: + 49 (0) 89 63822 - 24
c.klas@hasenkamp.com
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Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 21
I
n the bit ter winter of 1889, in the
small Galician town of Wadowice, in
the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a sen-
sational trial gripped the population. The
defendants were Jewish travel agents from
the nearby town of O swi ecim known to
the world today as Auschwitz.
Located at the juncture of Prussian,
Russian, and Austrian railway lines,
O swi ecim had recently developed a boom-
ing emigration business. In the previous
nine years, hundreds of thousands of
East Europeans had trekked toward the
German ports of Hamburg and Bremen
en route to America. The 65 defendants in
the O swi ecim case, two of whom were the
agents Simon Herz and Julius Lwenberg,
all stood accused of seducing emigrants
into abandoning their homeland with
false promises of American riches abroad.
Prosecutors argued that East European
peasants were instead being delivered to
hard labor in American factories, mines,
and brothels. The defendants stood trial
for a host of unsavory crimes: fraud, smug-
gling, bribery, assault, and generally swin-
dling emigrants of their last heller as they
set out for America.
If the Wadowice trial had been just
another expos of local corruption, it might
have passed unnoticed. But as the prosecut-
ing attorney argued in his closing state-
ment, the trial was a referendum on emi-
gration itself, which, he noted, was one of
the most important, burning problems of
the day. And emigration, he further insist-
ed, posed a grave threat to the basic ideal
of freedom in the entire Habsburg Empire.
The travel agents of O swi ecim were guilty
of no less than introducing a slave trade
into the free land of Austria.
The trial at Wadowice marked the begin-
ning of a century-long campaign to prevent
citizens from exiting East Central Europe.
While the early twentieth century saw mil-
lions leave the region, after World War II
the captivity of East Europeans behind
the Iron Curtain became a quintessential
symbol of Communist unfreedom. But the
Iron Curtain did not descend overnight in
1945 nor in 1948, or even in August 1961,
with the rst brick of the Berlin Wall. Its
foundation was laid a century earlier, when
Habsburg ofcials and social reformers
rst mobilized to stop the hemorrhaging of
their population to the West.
A
nti-emigration activists
in the Habsburg Empire and its
successor states were not only
concerned about the perceived economic,
military, and social consequences of emi-
gration. Their debates were also linked to
a broader discussion about the meaning of
slavery, freedom, and free labor in the con-
text of globalizing markets and escalating
imperial rivalries. Habsburg ofcials were
very conscious of the Austrian Empires
precarious position between an imagined
West and the colonized world. Insisting
that their citizens enjoy the privileges
and protections of white Europeans,
administrative ofcials and social reform-
ers sought to distinguish East European
emigrants from colonial labor, anxious
to guarantee that their citizens would
not become the coolies or slaves of the
twentieth century.
Analysis of the numbers reveals some
clues as to why ofcials were so nervous.
In the rst decade of the twentieth century
alone, one in ten citizens ve million peo-
ple left the Empire. The largest number
departed from the impoverished Austrian
provinces of Galicia and Bukovina and
from southern and eastern Hungary. An
additional 500,000 workers migrated sea-
sonally, mostly across the German border.
Between 1901 and 1910, almost 25 percent
of all immigrants to the United States
hailed from the Habsburg lands. Leopold
Caro, a Polish lawyer, described villages
that became ghost towns overnight. Entire
regiments left in 1907. . . . Many houses
stood empty, and in many others only
old women and small children remained
behind. . . . Everyone believed that America
was the Promised Land, a true paradise.
During this period, emigration increas-
ingly came to be seen as a tool of popula-
tion policy: state ofcials saw preventing
or encouraging the emigration of specic
groups as a strategy for solving social, eco-
nomic, and political problems.
In the eyes of many Austrian social
reformers and government ofcials, how-
ever, the seductive propaganda of unscru-
pulous agents was the major cause of the
emigration boom. By blaming mass emi-
gration on Jewish agents, anti-emigration
activists cast migrants themselves as inno-
cent victims of Jewish and capitalist exploi-
tation. It is common knowledge, declared
the Austrian War Ministry in 1913, that
the majority of emigrants do not actually
decide to emigrate out of their own initia-
tive, or because of their economic situation,
but are rather induced to emigrate by the
immoral, speculative activity of emigration
agents.
Blaming and arresting travel agents was
a far simpler solution to the perceived
migration crisis than addressing the under-
lying social and economic inequalities
within Austria and beyond that propelled
mass emigration. Policing travel agents
became one of the most prominent strate-
gies for hindering the exodus. In 1914 alone,
over 3,000 agents faced criminal charges
in the Austrian half of the monarchy.
TRAVEL ON TRIAL
Emigrants from the Habsburg Empire sought freedom abroad. The Empire disagreed.
By Tara Zahra
ENTIRE REGIMENTS LEFT IN 1907. . . . MANY HOUSES STOOD EMPTY,
AND IN MANY OTHERS ONLY OLD WOMEN AND SMALL CHILDREN
REMAINED BEHIND. . . . EVERYONE BELIEVED THAT AMERICA WAS THE
PROMISED LAND, A TRUE PARADISE.
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c.klas@hasenkamp.com
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22 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
WILLY HANKE, BREMENNEW YORK, 1930. COLOR LITHOGRAPH POSTER


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Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 23
I
f the War Ministry and local
anti-Semites set the Wadowice case
in motion, its spectacular resonance
reected a broader set of concerns. At rst
glance, it is tempting to blame the degree
of alarm about emigration on a longer his-
tory of feudal labor practices in Eastern
Europe. Some of the most vocal opponents
of emigration were in fact Polish and
Hungarian nobles who feared losing cheap
labor to American factories and mines.
But it would be a mistake to conclude that
this anxiety was merely a feudal hangover.
Emigration reformers drew on mercantil-
ist and populationist principles that were
well entrenched in European political and
economic thought. In a 1912 treatise against
emigration, for example, Austrian economist
Friedrich Hey warned that proponents of
emigration had forgotten the basic princi-
ples and theories of political economy, which
teach that the human is an essential link in
the chain of the economy; that his labor is a
valuable asset, and that . . . it is above all the
right of the state that has made the effort to
raise and educate this human material.
There were also new concerns that
drove the panic about emigration. Fin-de-
sicle population politics departed from
feudal and mercantilist policies in both
their scale and underlying logic. Experts
in the burgeoning elds of demography,
eugenics, and social policy increasingly
rened the goal of increasing population
by focusing on the biological quality of the
states human material. Anti-emigration
activists thus warned that the harsh physi-
cal labor and long hours endured by work-
ers in America posed a deadly threat to
the physical and moral health of Austrian
emigrants. They contended that 33,000
Austro-Hungarian citizens were killed on
the job in American industrial accidents
each year. An even greater number suppos-
edly returned home physically impaired,
becoming public charges as a conse-
quence of forced, enervating labor that is
detrimental to physical health.
Anti-emigration activists were also deep-
ly concerned about the threat emigration
posed to global racial hierarchies. These
fears became explicit in 1907, when the
Austro-Americana line introduced

to Hamburg, in order to reserve a place
on the ship. A second call went out to the
Emperor of America, in order to save space
in the Promised Land. The emigrant was
charged for both calls, which were report-
edly made using an alarm clock.
Finally, Herz informed emigrants
that they would not be permitted to enter
America wearing traditional peasants
clothing. Fortunately, they could purchase
brand new American suits (at outrageous
prices) in Mr. Lwenbergs store, conve-
niently located next door. While they waited
for the train to Germany, prosecutors
claimed that agents held emigrants captive,
sometimes for days on end, locking them
in pig stalls and dark basements, where
they were charged exorbitant prices for bad
bread and weak beer.
Many of these sensational stories origi-
nated in local denunciations by anti-Sem-
ites. Shortly before the arrests, a group of
Poles in O swi ecim addressed a petition to
Georg von Schnerer, the anti-Semitic lead-
er of the Austrian pan-German movement.
Vincenz Gawronski, a craftsman in town,
was a leader of the group. On December
12, 1889, he testied in Wadowice that they
had written the petition because we saw
with our own eyes how the Jews sent young
men to America who had not yet completed
their military service.
Migrants themselves often told a differ-
ent story. From December 17 to 20, emi-
grants and their relatives took the stand
in Wadowice. Many had travelled long
distances on foot or by train to make their
statements. Some accused the Herz agency
of overcharging them for tickets, while oth-
ers insisted that they had been treated fairly.
But all testied that they had decided to emi-
grate of their own volition and denied that
anyone had induced them to leave home.
Liberal newspapers published testimony
from the many migrants who denied being
defrauded by the agency. On December 17,
the paper Bukowinaer Rundschau reported,
A series of witnesses, farmers, and citizens
from the area testied under oath that it
is untrue that emigrants were deprived of
their personal freedom in the agency, and
that the rumors to this effect were spread by
the local anti-Semitic club.
S
imon Herz and Julius Lwenberg
founded their travel agency in
O swi ecim in the early 1880s. It was
conveniently located on the rst oor of
the Zator hotel, across from the train sta-
tion in nearby Brzezinka. In 1887, the
Herz-Lwenberg rm merged with Jakob
Klausners agency, afliated with the
hapag shipping line. Five agents Herz,
Lwenberg, Klausner, Arthur Landau, and
Abraham Landerer formed a partnership.
Their main competitor was another local
agency afliated with the Norddeutscher
Lloyd (ndl), established in 1888. This
rm was referred to as the Bremer agency,
because the ndl sailed out of Bremen.
A erce battle for customers soon raged
between the Herz agency, the Bremer
agency, and itinerant, illegal agents and
sub-agents.
Prosecutors and the anti-Semitic press
depicted a maa-like organization in the
town, masterminded by Herz and his col-
leagues. Train conductors, police ofcers,
cab drivers, and possibly the local prefect
himself were all allegedly on Herzs payroll.
The most sensational accusations con-
cerned the treatment of emigrants as they
passed through the town. When migrants
arrived in O swi ecim en route to Germany,
thick-muscled drivers employed by the
Herz and the Bremer agencies allegedly
surrounded them on the platform. They
beat each other with sts and sticks, reads
the anti-Semitic Deutsches Volksblatt
(founded in Vienna in 1888), and, after
ghting it out, these henchmen drove the
captured emigrants to the agencies like cat-
tle. The fraud allegedly continued once the
herd of slaves arrived in Herzs ofce, the
Deutsches Volksblatt alleged. Mr. Lwenberg,
costumed in the uniform of an Austrian
civil servant, reportedly met incoming emi-
grants at the Hotel Zator. His colleagues
addressed him as Mr. Prefect. Photos of
Emperor Franz Joseph and Imperial insig-
nia adorned the ofce walls.
The agents rst ordered emigrants to
turn over their passports and money, strip-
searching them to extract bills sewn into
their clothing or hidden in their socks and
undergarments. They then informed the
unfortunate peasants that it was illegal
to purchase a ticket from any other rm,
threatening them with arrest and violence
if they refused. Gendarmes paid by Herz
stood by to carry out the threat if necessary.
Even once the emigrant purchased a
ticket, the abuse didnt end. Agents insisted
that it was necessary to make a phone call
EXPERTS IN THE BURGEONING FIELDS OF DEMOGRAPHY, EUGENICS,
AND SOCIAL POLICY INCREASINGLY REFINED THE GOAL OF INCREASING
POPULATION BY FOCUSING ON THE BIOLOGICAL QUALITY OF THE
STATES HUMAN MATERIAL.
24 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
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direct steamship service from Trieste to
Louisiana. As recruiters from Louisiana
and Georgia began to prowl the Austrian
countryside in search of cotton pickers,
Habsburg ofcials responded with alarm.
Polemical denunciations of the emigration
business as a form of human trafcking
reached a new key as rumors spread that
Austrian peasants were literally replacing
former slaves in the American South.
In 1908, shortly after the new steamship
service to Louisiana began, an Austrian
General Consul toured Florida, Georgia,
Alabama, and South Carolina to investigate
working and living conditions. Drawing on
racist eugenic theories, he reported grim
prospects. All examples have proven that
racial mixing brings forth very unfortunate
results, he insisted. Since Austrian immi-
grants would inevitably live and work with
the blacks on southern plantations, he
feared that the only possible consequence
is that our people will be brought down to
the level of the blacks, and that they will
hardly be better treated.
These reports circulated rapidly to
district ofcials and police authorities
in Austria. In April 1908, the Austrian
Interior Ministry alerted Galician ofcials
that complaints about the entrapment of
immigrants in unfree, slave-like conditions
peonage have not been hushed and have,
in some cases . . . proven to be well-found-
ed. He urged local authorities to publicize
the dangers of emigration to the American
South. Only a year after it had begun, the
Austro-Americana service to New Orleans
was cancelled.
T
he Wadowice trial also reected
the growing radicalism of Austrian
anti-Semitic movements at the end
of the nineteenth century. The activities of
Jewish emigration agents in Austria had
recently become a favorite theme of the anti-
Semitic press. The Deutsches Volksblatt, for
one, printed extensive coverage of the trial,
pressuring the government to take action.
It remains difcult, however, to know
precisely what percentage of emigration
agents were actually Jewish. Emigration
agencies were relatively new businesses in
the late nineteenth century, but facilitat-
ing emigration was a classic middleman
trade. It required familiarity with multiple
languages and contexts, and it extended
logically from other occupations in retail
sales, trade, and hospitality, traditionally
occupied by Jews in Eastern Europe. A 1910
list of agents suspected of criminal activity
in Galicia included 64 agents, 53 of whom
had Jewish names. Of the 284 criminal
cases against agents underway in November
1913, more than half were brought against
defendants with Jewish names.
Regardless of whether or not the major-
ity of agents self-identied as Jews, the
emigration business was tightly linked to
Jews in the imagination of anti-Semites.
The period from 18801900 brought the
rapid rise of populist anti-Semitic move-
ments across Europe, accompanied by an
outbreak of sensational anti-Semitic trials.
Within a period of twenty years, blood libel
trials took place in Hungary, Prussia, and
Bohemia. Lviv/Lwow/Lemberg hosted a
spectacular anti-Semitic trial of accused
white slavers in 1892. Defrauding emi-
grants was a less sensational charge than
blood libel or sex trafcking, but the
Wadowice trial t within this pattern.
The language used to denounce Jewish
agents in the press and courtroom as
human trafckers, parasites sucking on
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Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 25
our blood, and vampires belonged to
the standard vocabulary of both blood libel
trials and the white slavery panic. This
trial is taking place because it is impossible
to tolerate the existence of a human traf-
cking at the end of the nineteenth century,
a trade in the blood of ten thousand impov-
erished people, insisted the prosecuting
attorney in Wadowice. The implied link
between emigration and sex trafcking
was particularly signicant. By equating
male emigrants trafcked to American
mines and factories with Galician women
trafcked to Argentinian brothels, emigra-
tion reformers conjured up popular anti-
Semitic images of Jews as sex trafckers.
T
he trial at Wadowice was thus
never a simple criminal case; it was a
forum for expressing broad anxieties
about capitalism, migration, and Austria-
Hungarys place in the world. The case
presented by the states attorney in the trial,
Heinrich Ogniewski, was ultimately direct-
ed against emigration in general as much as
it was against the Jewish defendants on the
stand. Defense attorneys repeatedly insisted
that government measures restricting emi-
gration infringed upon the constitutional
rights of Austrian citizens. One of them
proclaimed, In a modern state, citizens
should no longer be treated as living inven-
tory which is bound to the land!
Ogniewski, however, actively contested
the links between physical mobility, social
mobility, and freedom. He said in his clos-
ing statement: With respect to the accusa-
tion that the prosecution does not respect
the personal freedom of emigrants, I have
to say that this allegation must appear to
be a truly bitter irony, in that it is made by
people who have introduced a slave trade
to the free land of Austria, and who have
erected an entire system of human trafck-
ing. He appealed to the jury to convict the
parasites that have lived from the blood of
our peasants in the name of the land of
our fathers, for the good of the state, and for
the defense of them both.
The jury obliged. On March 12, 1890
Herz, Lwenberg, and Landerer were each
sentenced to four years imprisonment;
Neumann and Klausner to three.
Unsurprisingly, the arrest and trial of
O swi ecims travel agents did nothing slow
the rapid exodus from the east. The num-
ber of Austrians leaving for North America
skyrocketed in the 1890s, and into the rst
decade of the twentieth century.
D
ebates about emigration and
immigration in East Central Europe
are inextricable from this longer his-
tory of ideas about slavery, freedom, and free
labor and from a darker history of ethnic
cleansing. But if twentieth-century history
has demonstrated anything, it is that when
states begin to see individual migrants as
members of surplus or desirable popula-
tions to be imported or exported at will, both
mobility and freedom become illusory. The
erection of the Iron Curtain, one of the cen-
turys most profound symbols of repression,
might be seen as a solution to the problem
articulated at Wadowice in 1889 and as
the culmination of a century-long effort to
protect the freedom of East Europeans by
rendering them immobile.

Tara Zahra is a professor of East


European history at the University of
Chicago and the fall 2013 Berthold
Leibinger Fellow at the American
Academy.
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26 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
ending the civil war in Syria), it often has
different ideas about what policies would
be effective. Beijing (along with a shifting
roster of like-minded states, depending
on the issue) has its own ideas about inter-
national trade rules, currency manipula-
tion, humanitarian intervention, climate
change, law of the sea, and a host of other
issues, and it advocates its own interpreta-
tion of such international norms as free-
dom of information and the responsibility
to protect. But even when Beijing works to
modify or interpret the global rules to suit
its interests, its goal so far has been to inu-
ence, not to undermine, the world order
that the West has created.
The challenge of the Peoples Republic
of China to Western values has so far
been more defensive than revolutionary.
Although the regime is repressive at home,
it has not tried to undermine democratic
political systems in the rest of the world.
Chinese spokesmen respond to criticism of
their own policies for example, on human
rights with criticisms of the other side
that often tacitly acknowledge the same
standards of criticism rather than by try-
ing to promote change in other countries
ideologies. In the Maoist period, Beijings
international public relations efforts tried
to promote a rival ideology, but today it
seeks instead to project an image of China
as a benevolent, civilized, and peace-loving
society that does not deserve the criticism
and suspicion leveled against it. At home,
the government has slowly and grudgingly
yielded to Western values by encouraging
students and professors to go abroad for
study and research, promoting the study of
English and other foreign languages, liber-
alizing the media, and fostering the rise of
a Western-oriented consumer lifestyle.
But China threat theorists worry that
Chinas strategic orientation will change if
its power continues to grow as dramatically
as it has for the past three decades. Whether
Chinas growth trajectory will persist is a
separate question. Many analysts believe

I
t makes sense that Europeans are
less worried than Americans about the
rise of China. The United States main-
tains an extensive military alliance system
in Asia, supported by the deployment of
tens of thousands of troops. As Chinas
economy has grown, it has narrowed the
gap with the United States in military
strength, increased its capacity to coerce
Taiwan if it decides to do so, and started
to behave more assertively in territorial
disputes with American allies Japan and
the Philippines and the American quasi-
ally Vietnam. China continues to back US
enemy North Korea, even if it does so with
increasing ambivalence. These develop-
ments pose no direct threat to European
states, which have no security commitment
to Taiwan and no military alliances or
troops in the region.
But in many other respects the rise
of China has as much potential inu-
ence on European as on American inter-
ests. European economies especially
Germanys are increasingly linked to
Chinas; they also feel indirect effects from
Chinas impact on global commodity and
nancial markets. China increasingly
competes with Europe for inuence in
Africa and other nearby regions. Beijing
has begun to use its inuence to shape
the evolution of the international regimes
in which Europe has invested so much
diplomatic effort, such as those governing
trade, human rights, weapons proliferation,
and environmental protection. And China
has started to challenge the dominance of
European-American values by projecting
its soft power through an expanded inter-
national media presence and Confucius
Institutes.
So far, to be sure, the rise of China
has been more benecial than damaging
to Western interests. To begin with the
economic dimension, the rise of China
has contributed to prosperity in the West,
not to mention in China itself, the rest of
Asia, and elsewhere in the world. As in any
economic relationship, the balance sheet
is mixed. Chinas emergence as a manu-
facturing power has beneted Western
consumers, even though, to some extent,
it has hurt Western workers. But Chinas
negative inuence on Western job markets
is limited because many of the manufactur-
ing jobs that have disappeared in the West
had previously left the West for other devel-
oping countries before they moved onward
to China. Chinas economic rise has put
heavy new demands on global commodity
markets, but much of that demand is to
feed production for the West. Its foreign
trade has been globally balanced for most
of the reform period, even though it has
run a large surplus with the US. Although
Chinas currency, the renminbi or yuan,
continues to be undervalued, policymakers
have allowed it to appreciate gradually and
are moving toward full convertibility.
On the strategic front, the rise of China
has brought a broad convergence of inter-
ests with those of the West. China has
joined all the major world institutions
and treaty regimes the UN agencies,
the international trade system, the arms
control and disarmament treaties, and so
on and by and large has complied with
its obligations in each of them. Beijing sta-
tions no troops abroad (except a few in UN
Peace-Keeping Operations) and is unable
to prevent Western powers from deploying
their military forces wherever they want.
Its diplomacy around the world generally
favors stability rather than revolution.
Chinas interests are seldom identical
with those of the West, and even where it
shares a long-term goal (such as preventing
Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons or
REORIENTATION
Must Chinas rise inevitably threaten Western interests?
By Andrew J. Nathan
ON THE STRATEGIC FRONT,
THE RISE OF CHINA HAS BROUGHT
A BROAD CONVERGENCE OF
INTERESTS WITH THOSE OF THE
WEST.
Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 27
LYDIA FLEM, PRESSIONS, FROM THE SERIES HOW I EMPTIED MY PARENTS HOUSE, 20102012. C-PRINT


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The photograph featured here, entitled Pressions, is from
the forthcoming volume Journal implicite: Photographies
20082012 (edition de la Martinire/Maison europenne de la
photographie, 2013), by Dr. Lydia Flem, a noted French writer
and psychoanalyst. The author of twelve books, including Freud
the Man (1993) and Casanova (1999), Flems recent venture into
photography is as personal as her 2007 bestseller, The Final
Reminder: How I Emptied My Parents House. The daughter
of a Russian father and German mother, both of who fought
in the French Resistance and survived the Holocaust, Flem
was led by an autobiographical approach in her photographic
experiments, she writes in Journal implicite. Her vibrant and
surreal imagery, set off in suites (the image above is from one
also called How I Emptied My Parents House), speaks of
the past through accidental objects that seem by themselves
to engage in conversations between things, words, numbers,
symbols, objects, in a sense, that become, through the innite
puzzle of combinations, a kind of painted vanitas, fugitive altars,
inventive offerings to survival archives of the intimate in the
theater of history.
28 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
that a political crisis is brewing that will
cause instability and an economic down-
turn. Others think that even if political
stability is maintained the rate of economic
growth will slow as the economy matures.
But if China does enjoy another decade
or two of double-digit economic growth,
it is likely to nd itself with both motives
and means to mount a deeper challenge to
the existing world order. On the one hand,
China would gain large economic interests
far from its borders that it would feel a need
to protect with military force. On the other
hand, it would have the economic means
to project force far from its shores and to
acquire allies and bases abroad. Even if the
United States and its allies continued to
modernize their militaries, China might
narrow the military technology gap by
sending students to the West and by spying
on Western computer systems. In this pes-
simistic scenario, with growing interests
and capabilities abroad, China might shift
from a cooperative posture in world organi-
zations to a challenging posture, and from
a defensive soft-power strategy to a strategy
of promoting a set of political and social val-
ues at odds with those of the West.
These alarmist scenarios overlook some
giant obstacles to the expansion of Chinese
power beyond Asia. To begin with, China
faces serious security challenges within its
own territory that are not going to go away
for a long time, if ever. The Tibetans and
the Uyghurs sizeable ethnic minorities
that occupy large, strategic parts of Chinese
territory resist Chinese rule. Among the
ethnic Han majority population, the gov-
ernment faces endless political challenges
from a rapidly changing society animated
by a continuous revolution of rising expec-
tations. Around its borders the country
is surrounded by unreliable friends like
Russia, Pakistan, and North Korea and by
potential adversaries like Japan, India, and
Vietnam. It is hard to imagine how China
could establish anything like regional
hegemony over such a neighborhood. Yet
without the kind of dominance the United
States has in the Americas, China could
hardly afford to invest in major military
deployments and alliances beyond its
immediate region.
Moreover, if and when China becomes
the worlds largest economy, as it is pro-
jected to do within a decade or so, its pros-
perity will remain interdependent with the
prosperity of its global rivals, including the
US, Europe, and Japan. The richer China
becomes, the greater will be its stake in the
security of the sea lanes, the stability of the
world trade and nancial regimes, non-
proliferation, the control of global climate
change, and cooperation in public health
all goals which can only be achieved
cooperatively.
For these reasons, Chinas rise does
not spell inevitable confrontation with
the West. The better choice not only for
the United States and its allies but also for
China is to enhance Chinese security by
creating a new equilibrium of power that
maintains the current world system but
with a larger role for China. This would
allow China to remain what geography has
made it: a large, heavily populated land
power. It would also allow it to focus on its
most pressing issues, which are to raise the
living standards and quality of life of its
people and to repair the damage that rapid
growth has done to its environment.
The United States must encourage
China to take this strategic choice by
drawing policy lines military, economic,
and political that meet its own needs
without threatening Chinas. As China
rises, it is natural that it will push against
American power to nd the boundar-
ies of Washingtons will. As it does so,
Washington must push back to establish
boundaries for the growth of Chinese
power.
American interests in relation to
China are uncontroversial and should be
afrmed: a stable and prosperous China,
peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue,
freedom of navigation in the surrounding
seas, the security of Japan and other Asian
allies, an open world economy, and protec-
tion of human rights.
Two areas are especially important. First,
the US must maintain its military predomi-
nance in the western Pacic, including
the East China and South China seas. This
predominance will be difcult for China
to accept because this area of the oceans
is the closest to it and contains territorial
features that it claims as part of its own
territory. To maintain this predominance,
the US will have continually to upgrade its
military capabilities, maintain its regional
alliances, and act so as to maintain its cred-
ibility when facing challenges. While doing
so, Washington must reassure Beijing that
these moves are intended to create a bal-
ance of common interests rather than to
threaten or contain China. Mechanisms for
managing interactions and building trust
between defense establishments are essen-
tial if crises are to be resolved and military
confrontations avoided.
Second, the United States needs to push
back against Chinese efforts to remake
global regimes in ways that do not serve
the interests of the US and its allies. In
regimes as diverse as arms control, trade,
nance, and climate change and in virtu-
ally all others China has its own priorities.
Although Chinas attempt to pursue its
interests in global regimes is legitimate, so
too is the US interest in making sure that
these regimes continue the remarkable
evolution they have enjoyed since the end
of World War II, and especially since the
end of the Cold War. This is so above all
in the case of the human rights regime, a
set of global rules and institutions that in
the long run bear major consequences for
the construction of the type of world order
that the US has promoted since the time of
Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Europe has an indirect interest in the
credibility of the American military pos-
ture in Asia because a radical decline in
American power in Asia would damage the
credibility of the US as a security ally for
Europe. But Europe lacks military assets in
Asia that it could use to help the US in this
aspect of its policy. On the diplomatic front,
by contrast, Europes interests are directly
engaged, and its role is key. Europes post-
Cold War security strategy wisely relies on
building an international rule-of-law sys-
tem grounded in Western values. As China
rises, the EU and its member states must
redouble their vigilance to make sure that
the system continues to evolve in a way that
promotes the values of freedom and human
welfare on which the European system is
based.
Andrew J. Nathan is the Class of
1919 Professor of Political Science
at Columbia University and the fall
2013 Axel Springer Fellow at the
American Academy. This essay draws
from his and Andrew Scobells book
Chinas Search for Security (Columbia
University Press, 2012) and from a
longer essay which appeared on the
Berlin Conference on Asian Securitys
website, swp-berlin.org.
AS CHINA RISES, IT IS
NATURAL THAT IT WILL PUSH
AGAINST AMERICAN POWER
TO FIND THE BOUNDARIES OF
WASHINGTONS WILL.
Notebook of the American Academy in Berlin | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
ON THE WATERFRONT
NEWS FROM THE HANS ARNHOLD CENTER
N2 Academy Notebook: A selec-
tion of photos featuring
highlights from the 2013
Henry A. Kissinger Prize
Ceremony
N10 Life & Letters: An intro-
duction to the fall 2013
class of fellows, alumni
books, and a sneak
preview
N5 Sketches & Dispatches: Barnes
Foundation President Derek
Gillman on cultural heritage;
trustee Julie Mehretu inter-
views Huma Bhabha
N3 Academy Notebook: Christian
Ulrich Diehl joins Academy
as cfo/cao; trustee Nina
Freifrau von Maltzahn unveils
new Academy garden
Statecraft in the
Twenty-First Century
Hillary Clinton to deliver keynote address at Holbrooke Forum gala
Bierich Visitorship
Inaugurated
British Ambassador hosts inaugural lecture
Prague Winter,
Belgrade Spring
On the morality of international diplomacy
CONTINUED ON PAGE N9 CONTINUED ON PAGE N5
CONTINUED ON PAGE N4
B
efore moving to the
shores of the Wannsee,
the American Academy
found its home in a modest work-
space behind the Amerika Haus
at the Zoologischer Garten train
station. This is the American
Academy that Marcus Bierich
rst came to know in 1997.
Marcus Bierich was my rst
industrialist, recalls Executive
Director Gary Smith. But Bierich,
as Smith quickly came to learn,
was as comfortable at the phi-
losophers roundtable as he was
in the corporate boardroom. He
started asking me about my work
and my interests, Smith said.
I told him worked on Gershom
Scholem, and we began talking
about Martin Buber and Bertrand
Russell. Suddenly I felt at home
and forgot I was talking to an
industrialist. It was one of the
T
he newly founded
Richard C. Holbrooke
Forum for the Study of
Diplomacy and Governance at
the American Academy in Berlin
represents a key extension of the
Academys repertoire.
Established in honor of
American Academy founder
Richard C. Holbrooke, the
Forum convenes outstanding
individuals across institutional
and generational lines in order
to address issues of global
concern.
Supporters of the forum
were invited to attend a gala
dinner hosted by the American
Academy at New Yorks
Metropolitan Museum of Art
on December 4, 2013. The
$25,000-a-table dinner is the
cornerstone of efforts to raise
funds for the forum.
I
was fift y-nine when
I began serving as US
Secretary of State, is
how Madeleine Albright begins
her 2012 memoir, Prague Winter:
A Personal Story of Remembrance
and War, 1937 1948. I thought
by then that I knew all there was
to know about my past, who my
people were, and the history
of my native land. I was sure
enough that I did not feel a need
to ask questions. Others might
be insecure about their identi-
ties; I was not and never had
been. But the security Albright
had in her identity rested upon a
foundation fabricated in the dark-
est hours of modern European
history. Though her prominence
and visibility on the international
stage drew the attention of people
claiming to have information
about her familys history, most
Keynote speaker Hillary
Clinton joins co-chairs David
Rubenstein, philanthropist
and co-founder of the Carlyle
Group, and Eric Schmidt, the
executive chairman of Google.
Fundraising initiatives will
continue toward a goal of
$5 million.
On that same morning, a
public colloquium will be held as
a demonstration of the forums
scope, structure, and methodolo-
gy. Through a series of intensive
and ongoing working groups,
the Richard C. Holbrooke Forum
will concentrate on topics in the
following four general areas:
Statecraft and Human
Values
The Enduring Crisis of
Governance
The Dynamics of
Transformation: Social,
Cultural, and Economic
Aspects
Securing the Peace: Post-
Conict Coexistence and
Reconciliation.
N2 | Academy Notebook | News from the Hans Arnhold Center
Academy Notebook
Honoring Ewald-
Heinrich von Kleist
John McCain and Thomas de Maizire laud a late friend and Kissinger Prize recipient
T
he seventh annual
Henry A. Kissinger Prize
ceremony was held on
the evening of June 10, 2013, in
celebration of the life of Ewald-
Heinrich von Kleist (* July 10,
1922; March 8, 2013), founder of
the Munich Security Conference
and the longest surviving mem-
ber of the July 20, 1944 plot to
assassinate Adolf Hitler. The
Board of Trustees of the American
Academy was joined by distin-
guished guests from the inter-
national diplomatic corps, the
German government and military,
as well as heads of business,
industry, academia, media, pub-
lishing, and policymaking.
The hour-long ceremony was
moderated by American Academy
trustee and current chairman of
the Munich Security Conference,
Wolfgang Ischinger. The prize
was accepted by Ewald-Heinrich
von Kleists daughter, Comtesse
Vera de Lesseps. Laudations
were delivered by Senator John
McCain, of Arizona, and German
Minister of Defense Thomas de
Maizire.
In his laudation, Minister De
Maizire stressed von Kleists
moral leadership during and after
World War II:
We are no longer in the nine-
teenth century, when Heinrich
von Treitschke wrote, Men make
history. But the twentieth century
has taught us that turns in history
both for the better and the worse
very strongly depend on individuals.
For me, Ewald von Kleist is one
of only a handful of true heroes,
and this has much to do with his
behavior as a fairly young man. . . .
He took the liberty to stand up for
justice and freedom in Germanys
darkest years, and it was tting
that he helped to rebuild it after the
defeat of the Nazi regime as a pub-
lisher and a citizen.
In 1944, as a 22-year-old
Wehrmacht lieutenant, von
Kleist twice volunteered to risk
his life in attempts to assas-
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GAHL HODGES BURT, WOLFGANG ISCHINGER, JOHN MCCAIN, HENRY A. KISSINGER, VERA DE LESSEPS, A. MICHAEL HOFFMAN, THOMAS DE MAIZIRE
News from the Hans Arnhold Center | Academy Notebook | N3
sinate Adolf Hitler. The rst
attempt never materialized, but
the young ofcer went on to
assume an important role in
the well-known plot of July 20,
1944 and would become the
last surviving member of the
circle around Colonel Claus von
Stauffenberg.
After the war, von Kleist,
indelibly marked by the expe-
rience of combat, founded a
publishing house devoted to
public education on security
issues and transatlantic rela-
tions. In 1952, he established the
independent Defense Affairs
Association, known as the Society
for Military Studies, and, in 1954,
the European Military Studies
magazine. In 1962, he founded
the Wehrkundetagung (today the
Munich Security Conference),
which aimed to address security
concerns shared by the United
States and Europe. The confer-
ence ourished under his leader-
ship (1962 1998) and developed
into the preeminent independent
forum for dialogue on global
security policy and nato con-
cerns worldwide.
The trustees of the Academy
were honored when Ewald-
Heinrich von Kleist accepted the
Henry A. Kissinger Prize in fall
2012 and profoundly saddened
when he passed away at his home
in Munich, on March 8, 2013, at
the age of ninety.
Senator John McCain said of
his friend:
I have had the honor of know-
ing quite a few brave and inspiring
people in my life, but never someone
quite as brave as Ewald, who was
twice prepared to sacrice his life
to rid the world of one of the cruel-
CONTINUED ON PAGE N4
1. NANCY KISSINGER, HERMANN
SCHOLL, JOHN MCCAIN,
ALEXANDRA GRFIN LAMBS-
DORFF, RICHARD K. GOELTZ
2. THOMAS ENDERS
3. NIALL FERGUSON, THOMAS DE
MAIZIRE, PETER Y. SOLMSSON,
DAVID KNOWER, TAMMY
MURPHY, HENRY A. KISSINGER
1.
2.
3.
N4 | Academy Notebook | News from the Hans Arnhold Center
internal business auditing
service.
Internationally, he has taken
up numerous mid- to long-term
assignments in the Americas,
the Asia-Pacic region, and the
bric countries.
After attending secondary
school in Germany and the
United States, Diehl obtained a
degree in global business man-
agement from the International
School of Management in 1999,
studying in Germany, France,
and Spain. He received his post-
graduate degree in law (LL.M.)
from the Westflische Wilhelms-
Universitt Mnster and holds
credentials as a Certied Internal
Auditor (cia); a Certied Fraud
Examiner (cfe); in Control Self-
Assessment (ccsa); and in Risk
Management Assurance (crma).
He also recently completed the
Global Strategic Management
course in Harvard Universitys
Executive Education program.
T
he American Academy
in Berlin and its board of
trustees are delighted to
welcome Christian Ulrich Diehl
to the Academys management
team.
Diehl took up the position of
Chief Financial and Administra-
tive Ofcer on June 1, 2013. As
cfo/cao he is responsible for all
nancial and managerial plan-
ning, personnel, and general
administration.
Christian Diehl brings to
the Academy diverse and multi-
focal professional managerial
experience. He has worked in
an operational capacity on mat-
Welcoming Christian Ulrich Diehl
New chief nancial and administrative ofcer joins American Academy management
CONTINUED FROM N1 CONTINUED FROM N3
Statecraft in the
21
st
Century
Honoring Ewald-
Heinrich von Kleist
Projects in development within
these areas include:
Authoritarianism in a Global
Context
Globalization and Responsibility
The Cultural Politics of
International Lawmaking in the
Twenty-First Century
The United States, Germany,
and the Normative Dialogue
with China
Holbrooke Forum working
groups will be led and attended
by key thinkers drawn from inter-
national scholarship and public
policy including disciplines
ranging from the humanities to
the social sciences, law, medicine,
and engineering and from the
worlds of government, military,
industry, civil society, and the
media.
In the spirit of Richard
Holbrooke, the forum encour-
ages participants to overcome
barriers between disciplines and
approaches to important ques-
tions facing the contemporary
world. In this way, the Holbrooke
Forum provides a natural exten-
sion of the daily interaction
between scholars and practitio-
ners in the Academys fellowship
program while providing a frame-
work for new, collaborative, goal-
oriented research.
ters of nance, controlling, taxa-
tion and law, and information
technology. He has also held
supervisory positions respon-
sible for the establishment
and execution of governance
functions, for ensuring sound
operational practices, and for
the assessment of risk and
compliance.
Among other accomplish-
ments, Diehl established the
global internal business audit-
ing department at the dorma
Group, a German manufactur-
ing company that employs more
than 6,600 people in over fty
countries and served as the
director of both the companys
UK/Ireland outpost and the
groups global Automatics divi-
sion. In his most recent posi-
tion as Senior Vice President of
Group Quality, Governance, and
Risk at Germanischer Lloyd SE,
Diehl led the integration and
transformation of the group TRUSTEE NINA VON MALTZAHN AND CHRISTIAN U. DIEHL
est, most depraved and dangerous
tyrants in history. There is always
some price to be paid to live that
honorably. But the kind of choice
Ewald made to choose honor and
duty over every personal consider-
ation, to choose the world over his
place in it, to choose history over
his own future that is a price that
only people who possess the most
sublime sense of honor and humility
are willing to pay.
In her stirring nal remarks,
Comtesse Vera de Lesseps said:
I thought I would share a sen-
tence with you that my father told
me years ago and which will always
stay in my heart. He said, In life,
one has to do the right thing. At
rst I thought, Well, thats quite
obvious. But then realizing that
my father would not say anything
obvious, I understood what he
meant: Sometimes in life we have to
make a decision between two paths.
We can choose what is best for us
in a kind of selsh way, or we can
choose the path our conscience tells
us to, which can have sometimes
unpleasant consequences for us per-
sonally. But, deep down, we know
this is the right thing to do. I think
my father is a perfect example of
someone who has done the right
thing in his life.
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News from the Hans Arnhold Center | Academy Notebook | N5
of the letters she received were of
little value in reconstructing her
familys past.
One particular letter, however,
appeared to contain concrete and
accurate information about her
family. Though she had been
raised Catholic, the letter assert-
ed that her parents and grand-
parents were Jewish. American
Academy alumnus Michael
Dobbss subsequent research led
to surprising revelations about
her grandparents and other fam-
ily members, who were indeed
victims of the Nazi regime. Many
had perished in the Holocaust.
On the occasion of the Siedler
Verlags German publication of
Albrights memoir (as Winter in
Prag), the American Academy
hosted a discussion between
Albright and former German
Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer
at the Bertelsmann Reprsentanz
in Berlin. Their discussion, mod-
erated by Gary Smith, touched
upon the historical background
against which Albrights early life
unfolded, the foreign-policy chal-
lenges the two interlocutors faced
in the late 1990s, and the broader
moral considerations underpin-
ning policies of intervention,
from the response to Nazi aggres-
sion to contemporary debates
about intervention on behalf of
victims of state violence.
Albright spoke about the evo-
lution of her thinking about diplo-
macy, recalling how her resent-
ment of Neville Chamberlain
and Edouard Daladiers decision
to sign the Munich Agreement
in 1938 (which allowed Nazi-
Germany to annex parts of
Czechoslovakia) slowly faded
over the course of her research.
Working on this book I realized
that its always easier for us to
judge past decisions than it was
for their contemporaries, she
said. The British and French
were exhausted from World
War I; they had lost an entire
generation. I understand their
position a lot better than before.
Fischer drew comparisons
between the Munich Agreement
and the current civil war in Syria,
the immense complexity of which
makes a solution geopolitically
precarious: What should be
done? he asked. There is no
right thing to do. Only the less
harmful one.
The meeting was a reunion of
sorts. A former student radical,
Fischer was appointed foreign
minister by Chancellor Gerhard
Schrder in 1998: I never would
have thought I would be standing
in the White House, wearing a
three-piece suit and discussing
nato with the US Secretary of
State, Fischer recalled. From
this early moment, the relation-
ship between the seasoned
senior diplomat and what some
commentators characterized as
her pupil developed both in the
international spotlight and over
the course of intensive behind-
the-scenes coordination between
the two governments. Albright
recounted late-night phone calls
and countless hours spent debat-
ing what to do about Milosevics
unresponsiveness to the diplo-
matic efforts of special envoy
Richard C. Holbrooke. Of natos
resulting military intervention,
Fischer said, I really believe
that we did the right thing. What
would the state of the Balkans be
if we had not intervened, if old
fashioned nationalism based on
the use of force would have been
victorious?
On this point Fischer and
Albright agree: the international
community has a responsibility
to intervene in sovereign states if
those states fail to protect citizens
from atrocities or in cases where
the state itself inicts violence
against its citizens. Albright
emphasized that this core prin-
ciple of Responsibility to Protect
is not infallible. But it is one that
future leaders will have to grapple
CONTINUED FROM N1
Prague Winter, Belgrade Spring
On the morality of international diplomacy
with in an increasingly globalized
world, where sovereign states
interact on a playing eld increas-
ingly governed by supranational
and multinational entities. The
problem with every principle,
Fischer said, is that there is a gap
between the principle and the
reality.
The night concluded with
Albrights response to a question
about the moral lessons readers
might draw from her memoir:
Did a connection exist between
the knowledge of her Jewish
background and the actions
she took as Secretary of State to
intervene in ethnic conict? The
most important virtue of a good
leader, she said, is the ability to
forgive. This principle allows not
only individuals but also coun-
tries and their leaders to reconcile
with the past and secure the
foundations of future peace and
progress.
j.t.e. & r.j.m.


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MADELEINE ALBRIGHT IN DISCUSSION WITH JOSCHKA FISCHER
N6 | Academy Notebook | News from the Hans Arnhold Center
O
n May 8, 2013, trustee
Nina von Maltzahn, along
with Gary Smith and
landscape architect Gabrielle
Pape, unveiled the newly land-
scaped garden of the Hans
Arnold Center. The project was
planned and supervised by
Pape und Ren Werner of the
Knigliche Gartenakademie
and implemented by Gartenbau
Kding in spring 2013.
Two giant sequoia trees
(Sequoiadendron giganteum)
form the centerpiece of the proj-
ect, crowning both sides of the
incline toward the lakeside of
the Hans Arnold Center. Due to
their sensitivity to cold weather
and their exposed position on
the hill, the trees were acclimat-
ed to Berlin winters for six years
prior to being transported to
their new home at the American
Academy.
The trees are surrounded
by 17 rhododendrons of dif-
ferent colors and by a variety
of panicled hydrangeas. The
mature plants were carefully
chosen to create an impression
of aesthetic consistency within
the Academys garden. An
additional ten white rhododen-
From Natures Long and
Harmless Throes
The grounds of the Hans Arnhold Center receive a landscaping makeover
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drons were planted in a hedge
along the newly reconstructed
fence at the entrance to the
Academy. Fellows, their fami-
lies, and guests to the Academy
have made extensive use of the
Garden since its redesign.
As part of the overall land-
scaping improvements, an ele-
gant new covered structure was
constructed to house refuse bins
and provide storage space for
bicycles and garden equipment.
In addition, the lamps on the
rear terrace were replaced with
energy efcient led lanterns,
and automated robotic lawn-
mowing systems were installed
in both the front and rear of
the villa. Future improvements
already in planning include the
transformation of the Academys
vegetable garden into a planted
alcove with seating for up to ve
people.
The new landscape design
and structural improvements are
an enduring expression of the
vision and support of Nina von
Maltzahn, who underwrote and
accompanied the project from
its conception through the nal
stages of its realization.
j.t.e.
News from the Hans Arnhold Center | Sketches & Dispatches | N7
Sketches & Dispatches
legitimacy of claims of owner-
ship? Gillman approaches this
question by examining the link-
age between value and vulner-
ability. Personally valuing some-
thing, he claims, is not the same
as regarding it as truly valuable.
But if we dont personally respect
certain practices, we dont have
any reason not to allow them to
decay. Indeed, we can be said to
value things as individuals to the
extent that considering their loss
or destruction renders us emo-
tionally vulnerable.
These dynamics of individual
valuation are often applied to
entire groups, and the collection
of values common to the group
are considered together under
the label heritage. Gillman
uses the example of the Elgin
Marbles, a collection of classi-
cal Greek marble sculptures
originally part of the Athenian
Parthenon, to explain the man-
ner in which the concept of heri-
tage is sometimes used as a justi-
cation for claims of ownership.
Brought to Britain by Thomas
Bruce, seventh Earl of Elgin, in
1816, the marbles have been on
display at the British Museum
ever since. Proponents of return-
ing heritage objects argue that
the marbles and objects like
them form a crucial link between
group members and their ances-
tors and heirs. They argue that
the absence of work representing
a peoples cultural heritage not
only harms the individuals who
value such objects, but that an
additional harm arises at the
group level when this crucial link
is removed.
Gillman offers both practi-
cal and principled objections to
these arguments. First, he rejects
the personication of groups or
cultures as individuals, noting
that such personication is at the
heart of some of the most perni-
cious forms of bigotry. He also
notes that basic values considered
collectively under the label heri-
tage should not be given more
weight than the same values con-
sidered independently of the con-
cept. Finally, he claims that the
establishment of a right of return
would upend settled property law
and undermine established legal
principles of ownership.
The marbles, like the Buddhas,
have value not only to the heirs
of their heritage but also to
a wide range of other groups
and individuals. The Buddhas
destruction was an enormous
blow to scholars of Buddhist
cultures, individuals with an
interest in world art, Buddhist
religious communities in other
countries, the governments that
attempted to save them, and
some residents of the Bamiyan
Valley who attached aesthetic or
even monetary value to them, for
example, because of their ability
to attract tourists. Indeed, few
of those truly harmed by their
destruction could demonstrate a
direct connection to the cultural
heritage in which the statues
were embedded. There is no
evidence, Gillman notes, that
something we value intrinsically
will make us more emotionally
vulnerable than something we
value instrumentally.
Even if one were to accept
the premise that valuing a thing
gives individuals and groups a
greater right to own it, no regime
exists, apart from settled prop-
erty law, to adjudicate the validity
of such ownership claims.
A
t the beginning of
March, 2001, Mullah
Mohammed Omar
ordered the Afghan Taliban to
open artillery re on the Buddhas
of the Bamiyan Valley. The demo-
lition was carried out despite
desperate attempts by numerous
governments including those
of India, China, Japan, and Sri
Lanka to relocate or protect the
statues. The statues destruction
and the impassioned reactions
it inspired raise important ques-
tions as to which groups, institu-
tions, or individuals are entitled
to claim ownership of cultural
objects, and on what legal and
moral grounds.
On May 28, 2013, Derek
Gillman, president and execu-
tive director of the Barnes
Foundation, in Philadelphia,
author of The Idea of Cultural
Heritage, and the spring
2013 Marina Kellen French
Distinguished Visitor, explored
contemporary debates over the
ownership of cultural objects
most prominently the Elgin
Marbles and the Buddhas of the
Bamiyan Valley and the thorny
concept of heritage that underlies
such debates.
Rather than viewing heritage
as an intrinsic value, Gillman
considers heritage an umbrella
term for a combination of basic
values: life, knowledge, play,
aesthetic experience, sociability,
practical reasonableness, and
religion. Heritages, as such, are
aggregates of a wide range of
values and associated practices,
products, and institutions.
But is an objects belonging
to a specic cultural heritage the
right metric for evaluating the
What Is Cultural Heritage?
Derek Gillman, president of the Barnes Foundation, on heritage, value, and vulnerability
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N8 | Sketches & Dispatches | News from the Hans Arnhold Center
Figurative artist Huma Bhabha is
the fall 2013 Guna S. Mundheim
Fellow in the Visual Arts. The
Poughkeepsie-based artist sat down
with trustee Julie Mehretu to dis-
cuss her work and her inspirations.
JULIE MEHRETU: A few years ago
when I saw your show at Salon 94,
your sculpture And in the track
of a hundred thousand years, out
of the heart of dust, Hope sprang
again, like greenness (2007) felt
a little bit like it had come into
being, as if you had conjured the
gures. It took my breath away.
Looking at this work, with so
many levels of consideration, you
really feel all sides from under-
neath, from every angle there
is a real presence and physicality
that confronts the viewer, trans-
porting her somewhere else.
HUMA BHABHA: This sculpture
is the largest one Ive worked on
and the most complicated. There
are many narratives and different
ways to approach it. Its a sculp-
ture garden.
I had seen this picture of
Rodin in his studio where hes
on a platform working, and there
are remnants of sculptures all
around him. I started to get into
the idea of how the studio looks
when youre working on pieces,
and I wanted to try to make a
stage-like sculpture that con-
tained other sculptures. As I built
up the base with leaves, paper,
and sand, I added color and tex-
ture to make it more complex and
three-dimensional. Onto this,
I placed two gures and some
abstract pieces of Styrofoam
that were torn up to look like
diagrams of an old, excavated city.
The more complicated the piece
got, the more relationships began
to emerge. Also, more scale
changes.
I love the idea of making
something that gives the illu-
sion of being huge but is actu-
ally small in comparison to the
landscape.
JULIE MEHRETU: It makes me
think of these two big pieces from
Luxor that you can drive by . . .
huge monolith sculptures, the
Colossi of Memnon.
HUMA BHABHA: Theyre giants,
sitting on huge thrones. I have a
book on Egyptian art from this
old bookstore in Karachi. Theres
a photograph of them in the book
that I have used in my prints.
JULIE MEHRETU: In Berlin they
have incredible holdings of
Egyptian sculptures, especially
portraits and faces. Its incred-
ible how hard artists worked to
understand the face and get the
likeness of a being. I think that
theres a difference in this kind of
funerary art and something that
actually conjures a spirit.
HUMA BHABHA: When you look at
ancient sculpture and then look
at African sculpture whether
its old or recent theres this ele-
ment of ritual. It is about death
and preserving the spirit of the
person or the afterlife. Im not
making religious work, but Im
denitely inuenced by those
ideas.
JULIE MEHRETU: Going back to
your large sculpture, how do you
think of your pieces in space? Do
they reference historical space or
do you think of them in terms of
physical space?
HUMA BHABHA: I do not think of
my sculpture in terms of a spe-
cic kind of space. In building
them up from their armatures,
they slowly start to look like
something. You keep adding
and stacking things. I prefer
my sculptures to look precari-
ous, heavier on top and sort of
balancing elements that I end up
mostly covering up.
With the large 2007 sculpture,
each side is different: there is an
abstract, constructed side, a more
gurative side, and details that
connect the two gures together
in a formal way. Its about the
relationship of one material to
another. How does sticking this
next to that look? The armature is
always important to the work.
JULIE MEHRETU: Is it usually
geometric?
HUMA BHABHA: No. Its com-
pletely freeform. I start by cola-
lecting materials such as pieces
of Styrofoam and wood and then
attach them to make a strong
armature. If the initial armature
is not working, something will
go wrong. I keep playing around
with differaent combinations
until I feel that the composition
is resolved. The process of add-
ing and taking away is constant.
There might be a time halfway
through the sculpture where
somethings not working, and I
have to remove a big chunk of it.
The materials are leading me.
JULIE MEHRETU: How important
is it that your sculptures are
permanent?
HUMA BHABHA, THE ORIENTALIST, 2007. BRONZE, 177.8 X 83.8 X 104.1 CM
Colossi, in Landscape
Huma Bhabha discusses guration from the Memnonium to Minimalism
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News from the Hans Arnhold Center | Sketches & Dispatches | N9
most wonderfully inspiring con-
versations Ive ever had.
Marcus Bierich studied phi-
losophy with Ralf Dahrendorf in
Hamburg, and he was convinced
that a certain uency in the
world of logic and ideas would
lay the groundwork for later suc-
cess in the more practical world
of business. His fondness for
ideas, philosophy, religion, and
belles lettres led the philosopher
Gnther Patzig to characterize
Bierich as a man of reason . . .
a critical mind interested in
complicated interrelations, which
require a great degree of effort
to understand. And Bierichs
considerable accomplishments in
German industry most notably
his stewardship of Bosch AG, one
Marcus Bierich Visitorship Inaugurated
Benefactors of the Marcus Bierich Distinguished
Visitorship include:
Henrik Aldinger, Wolfgang Beck, The Family of Marcus Bierich,
Gerhild and Clemens Brsig, Robert Bosch GmbH, Deutsche
Bank AG, Deutsche Bank Stiftung, Jrgen Frterer, Hermann Graf
von Hatzfeldt, Stephanie and Martin Korbmacher, Hellmut Kruse,
Georg Kulenkampff, Berthold Leibinger Stiftung, The Mallinckrodt
Foundation, Nina von Maltzahn, Bernd Schultz and Mary Ellen
von Schacky-Schultz, Kurt Viermetz, Villa Grisebach Berlin, Voith
GmbH, Stanford S. Warshawsky, and Ulrich Weiss.
CONTINUED FROM N1
HUMA BHABHA: I do not think
about permanence when making
my work. Everything is imperma-
nent right now, especially in a city
like New York, where Ive spent a
lot of time. You never know how
long that building is going to be
there. Things keep changing.
Here, they throw away a lot of
construction materials, whereas
in other places, everything is sal-
vaged. I nd most of my materi-
als just walking down the street.
I also like working with tempo-
rary materials. When Jason and
I were in Mexico, I came up with
the idea of working with real clay,
which tends to shrink very fast,
dry, and fall apart. The idea was to
make a sculpture and document it
in a setting. The end result would
be a photograph, the way Brancusi
photographed his sculptures in
his studio. For me, when you
place sculptures in different set-
tings and photograph them in a
certain way, you can end up with
a very cinematic result. And thats
what I was looking for. I thought
of them as being part of a movie,
and these were lm stills, like
early Cindy Sherman work.
of Germanys most respected cor-
porations more than conrm
the effectiveness of his unique
approach.
In this spirit, the American
Academy in Berlin estab-
lished the Marcus Bierich
Distinguished Visitorship, which
aims to facilitate access to schol-
arship and academic debate for
professionals from the worlds
of business and politics. It will
do so by inviting outstanding
American scholars who excel at
communicating challenging or
complex ideas with clarity and
vividness to a non-specialist
audience and who enjoy the
robust exchange of ideas with
peers from other sectors of civil
society. The visitorship has been
made possible by the generosity
of a broad consortium of donors,
listed in the adjacent box. The
American Academy is grateful for
their generous support.
Harvard professor and
American Academy trustee
Niall Ferguson inaugurated the
Marcus Bierich Distinguished
Visitorship on June 9 with a
lecture at the Berlin residence of
British Ambassador to Germany
Simon McDonald and his wife,
Olivia. Marcus Bierich personi-
es that interface between the
world of philosophy and the
academy more generally and
the world of economic practice,
Ferguson said. It is a great privi-
lege to hold a lecture in his honor.
JULIE MEHRETU: In one of your
lectures, you showed a photo-
graph of a shack in Pakistan
and spoke about its inuence
on your work as a kind of found
sculpture.
HUMA BHABHA: I was referring
to the shacks found next to
construction sites where guards
live at night and the workers
make their tea. They are made
from leftover bricks, corrugated
iron, pieces of plastic, and other
materials that are not being used
on the construction site. Theyre
beautiful and inspiring, but not
to the average person. Materials
just lean against one another,
touching but not attached. My
whole construction process is
based on this simple approach.
JULIE MEHRETU: Something Ive
looked at since I was young,
and am very familiar with, is
African sculpture. When I look
at your cork sculptures, I cannot
help but notice the inuence of
African art. How informative
has African art been for your
work?
HUMA BHABHA: African sculp-
ture has been a huge inuence
on all of my work! In the mid
1990s I did a series of masks that
I thought of as a combination
of African masks and Star Trek.
My recent portrait drawings are
informed by a beautiful picture of
an African sculpture.
JULIE MEHRETU: I remember when
I started experimenting with ink,
I suddenly realized that there
was a relationship between my
work and Chinese calligraphy.
I hadnt been looking at Chinese
painting but began to familiarize
myself with it once I made this
connection. I like these kinds
of unconscious, cross-cultural
connections.
HUMA BHABHA: I was reading
this article written by a journalist
named Robert Fisk about cara-
vanserais hostels of the past.
There used to be many in Iran
and central Asia along the Silk
Route. These caravanserais had
libraries, interpreters and transla-
tors and became meeting places
for the free exchange of culture,
commerce, religion, and ideas. As
people from different places came
together, many of their traditions
mixed and took on a hybridized
form. I see a parallel today now
that everything and everyone are
so connected. It doesnt surprise
me that certain cross-cultural
and historical inuences have
seeped into our work, even when
we are not fully aware of them.
JULIE MEHRETU: Do you think of
your work as post-apocalyptic,
as has often been written? Post-
apocalyptic was not something
that came up for me in looking at
your work. To me, it seems very
much of the present.
HUMA BHABHA: Im not trying to
make post-apocalyptic work. My
work is very much of the present
informed by my peers, art history,
Minimalism, and pop culture.
This interview rst
appeared in Huma Bhabha
(Peter Blum Edition/
Salon 94, 2011) and is
reproduced with special
permission.
N10 | Life & Letters | News from the Hans Arnhold Center
Life & Letters
HUMA BHABHA
Figurative artist Huma Bhabhas
works have been described as
exotic, grotesque, and even
creepy. Her sculptures, often
assembled out of materials such
as Styrofoam, clay, and wire,
feel unstable and ephemeral,
recalling gurative traditions
from a range of cultures and his-
torical periods. At the American
Academy, the Guna S. Mundheim
Fellow in the Visual Arts plans to
produce a series of bronze sculp-
tures in preparation for an exhibi-
tion in spring 2014.
Huma Bhabha was born in
Karachi, Pakistan, and lives
and works in Poughkeepsie,
New York. She received her bfa
from the Rhode Island School
of Design (1985) and her mfa
from Columbia University
(1989). Her artwork has been
featured in dozens of national
and international solo exhibi-
tions, most recently at the
MoMAs P.S.1 (2013), Collezione
Maramotti (2012), and the Aspen
Art Museum (2011). Notable
group shows include Intense
Proximity, La Triennale, Palais
de Tokyo, Paris (2012); the
Whitney Biennial in New York
(2010); Statuesque, City Hall
Park, New York (2010); the
Seventh Gwangju Biennale,
Gwangju, Korea (2008); and
usa Today: New American Art
from the Saatchi Gallery, Royal
Academy of Arts, London (2006).
Bhabhas work is represented in
collections of numerous major
museums, among them the
Whitney Museum of American
Art; the Museum of Modern Art;
the Metropolitan Museum of
Art; the New York Public Library;
Centre Georges Pompidou; the
Saatchi Gallery; the Nerman
Museum of Art, Overland Park,
KS; the Yale University Art
Gallery; and Bronx Museum of
the Arts.
WARREN BRECKMAN
How has Renaissance thinker
Niccol Machiavelli most
often associated with the
amoral manipulation of poli-
tics inspired numerous modern
philosophical projects aimed at
deepening and fostering demo-
cratic practice? This question,
argues Siemens Fellow Warren
Breckman, reveals concerns cen-
tral to the history and theory of
radical democracy. His Academy
project, The Machiavellian
Moment in Modern Thought,
examines the reception of
Machiavelli at three levels: rst,
in European political thought
from the Enlightenment to the
twentieth century; second, in
interpretations of Machiavelli as a
theorist of republican virtue; and
third, as a tool for the articulation
of different versions of radical
democracy by twentieth-century
left-wing theorists.
Warren Breckman is a profes-
sor of modern European intel-
lectual and cultural history at
the University of Pennsylvania,
as well as executive co-editor
of the Journal of the History of
Ideas, the founding editor of the
Zeitschrift fr Ideengeschichte,
and on the editorial board of
Laphams Quarterly. He received
his PhD from the University of
California, Berkeley and has been
a fellow of the Alexander von
Humboldt Foundation, a mem-
ber of the Princeton Institute for
Advanced Study, and a visiting
scholar at the cole des Hautes
tudes en Sciences Sociales in
Paris. Breckman is the recipient
of fellowships from the National
Endowment for the Humanities,
the Mellon Foundation, and the
Social Sciences and Research
Council of Canada and is the
author of Karl Marx, the Young
Hegelians, and the Origins
of Radical Social Theory:
Dethroning the Self (Cambridge,
1999), European Romanticism:
A Brief History with Documents
(Bedford/St. Martins, 2007), and
Adventures of the Symbolic: Post-
Marxism and Radical Democracy
(Columbia, 2013).
JAMES BROPHY
Book lists, circulation gures,
regional sales, and marketing
strategies all have their own sto-
ries to tell. Nina Maria Gorrissen
Fellow of History James Brophy
examines these stories in order
to reconstruct the markets, net-
works, and personalities that
bridged the political cultures of
Central Europe and the Atlantic
world in the eighteenth and nine-
teenth centuries. His Academy
project, Markets of Knowledge:
Publishers and Politics in Central
Europe, 1770 1870, links the
business of print to broader are-
nas of political communication
in both Europe and America. He
examines issues of censorship
at local, regional, and national
levels and describes the transac-
tions involved in forging the eras
transatlantic book market, from
credit-based negotiations and
the creation of local bookshops,
libraries, and reading societies to
the manner in which publishers
worked as cultural brokers and
political actors in nineteenth-
century public life.
James Brophy is the Francis
H. Squire Professor of History
at the University of Delaware,
where his research focuses on the
social, economic, and political
history of nineteenth-century
Germany. Among his books are
Capitalism, Politics, and Railroads
in Prussia, 1830 1870 (Ohio State,
1998) and Popular Culture and
the Public Sphere in the Rhineland,
1800 1850 (Cambridge, 2007),
named a choice Outstanding
Academic Book in 2008. Brophy
has written over two dozen
essays for anthologies, surveys,
and journals, including Past
and Present, Journal of Modern
History, and Central European
History. A graduate of Vassar
College and Eberhard Karls
Universitt Tbingen, he earned
his PhD from Indiana University
and has received fellowships
from the National Endowment
of the Humanities, Fulbright
Commission, German Academic
Exchange Service, American
Philosophical Society, and the
International Research Exchange
Program.
KIRAN DESAI
Lush and intensely imagined.
Welcome proof that Indias
encounter with the English
language continues to give birth
to new children, endowed with
lavish gifts. It was with these
words that literary lion Salman
Rushdie praised Hullabaloo in the
Proles in Scholarship
Presenting the fall 2013 class of fellows and distinguished visitors
News from the Hans Arnhold Center | Life & Letters | N11
Guava Orchard, the debut novel
of Holtzbrinck Fellow Kiran
Desai. At the Academy this fall,
Desai is working on her third
novel, The Loneliness of Sonia
and Sunny, an examination of
Western and Eastern notions and
manifestations of solitude as they
play out across the geographical
and emotional terrain of a global-
ized world. Desai describes the
novel as an endlessly unresolved
romance between two modern
Indians who embark upon a
series of experiments, across
Europe, India, and America, to
see if they might succeed in con-
temporary ways of loving. The
story addresses the promise and
failure of feminism, the growing
gap between rich and poor, rural
and urban, and the many ways
in which modernity affects our
spiritual beings in the elemental
matters of loneliness and love.
Kiran Desai was born in
Chandigarh, India, and edu-
cated in India, England, and
the United States, where she
completed an mfa at Columbia
University in 1999. Her rst
novel, Hullabaloo in the Guava
Orchard, received the 1998 Betty
Trask Award. Her 2006 novel,
The Inheritance of Loss won the
Man Booker Prize, the National
Book Critics Circle Award, and
was translated into over forty
languages. In 2009, she was
presented with the Columbia
University Medal for Excellence.
Desai is the recipient of a 201314
John Simon Guggenheim
Memorial Foundation
Fellowship.
BEN MARCUS
From the Silentism of Notable
American Women to the lethal
language of children in The
Flame Alphabet, Mary Ellen von
der Heyden Fellow in Fiction
Ben Marcus has long shown
interest in the intersection of
language and familial authority.
During his stay at the American
Academy, he will work on a new
novel about surveillance and the
family. The novel, as Marcus
describes it, concerns the pain of
being known, the sorrow of being
misunderstood. It is also about
authority, acts of persuasion cre-
ated through language, and the
resultant control exerted through
words. Im drawn to the intense
dynamics within families,
Marcus says. As much as I am
deeply rooted to my own family,
this unassailable social structure
is something Id like to press on
in ction, to test, through narra-
tive, in the most complex way that
I can.
Ben Marcus is a professor at
Columbia Universitys School
of the Arts and the author of ve
books of ction: The Age of Wire
and String (Knopf, 1995), Notable
American Women (Vintage, 2002),
The Father Costume (Artspace
Books, 2002), The Flame Alphabet
(Knopf, 2012), and the forthcom-
ing collection of short stories,
Leaving the Sea (Knopf, 2014). His
stories, essays, and reviews have
appeared in The Believer, New
Yorker, Paris Review, New York
Times, Harpers, and McSweeneys,
among other publications. A John
Simon Guggenheim Memorial
Foundation Fellow in 201314,
Marcus has also received grants
from the Creative Capital
Foundation (2009), a 2008
Morton Dauwen Zabel Award
from the American Academy
of Arts and Letters, a Whiting
Writers Award, a National
Endowment for the Arts
Fellowship in ction, and three
Pushcart Prizes.
ANDREW NATHAN
The inclusion of the principle
of universal respect for, and
observance of, human rights
and fundamental freedoms in
the UN Charter of 1945 marked
a revolution in international
affairs. This principle, together
with the rights spelled out in the
1948 Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, form the foun-
CLASS OF FALL 2013 (LEFT TO RIGHT): KIRAN DESAI, THOMAS SCHESTAG, BEN MARCUS, FELICITY SCOTT, WOLF SCHFER, JAMES BROPHY,
HUMA BHABHA, WARREN BRECKMAN, DAVID SCHEFFER, ANDREW J. NATHAN, DIETRICH NEUMANN, AND TARA ZAHRA
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N12 | Life & Letters | News from the Hans Arnhold Center
dation of todays complex body
of international human rights
law. At the American Academy,
Axel Springer Fellow Andrew
Nathan will examine the future
of the international human rights
regime and the three main actors
shaping it: the US, Europe, and
China. In Berlin, Nathan will
explore European public opinion
on human rights, the organiza-
tion and goals of human rights
ngos, and the policy of European
foreign ministries and EU
Agencies.
Andrew Nathan is the Class
of 1919 Professor of Political
Science at Columbia University,
where he has taught since 1971.
He is co-chair of the board
of Human Rights in China,
a member of the boards of
Freedom House and the National
Endowment for Democracy, and
he is on the Advisory Committee
of Human Rights Watch Asia,
which he chaired from 1995
to 2000. The regular Asia and
Pacic book reviewer for Foreign
Affairs, Nathan serves on the
editorial boards of the Journal
of Democracy and Journal of
Contemporary China. He has
published widely on Chinese
politics and foreign policy
and written comparative stud-
ies of human rights, political
participation, legitimacy, and
culture. His books include
Chinas Transition (Columbia,
1997), The Tiananmen Papers,
edited with Perry Link (Little,
Brown, and Company, 2001),
Negotiating Culture and Human
Rights: Beyond Universalism and
Relativism, edited with Lynda S.
Bell and Ilan Peleg (Columbia,
2001), and Chinas Search for
Security, coauthored with Andrew
Scobell (Columbia, 2012).
DIETRICH NEUMANN
God, claimed Ludwig Mies
van der Rohe, is in the details.
Nina Maria Gorrissen Fellow of
History Dietrich Neumanns crit-
ical biography of the Bauhaus leg-
end aims to contextualize Miess
buildings, projects, and furniture
designs by looking at the histori-
cal conditions of architectural
production and structural inno-
vation, as well as at the inuence
of Miess peers and critical dis-
course upon the architects work.
Neumanns project spans from
the architectural world of Berlin,
where Mies lived from 1905 until
1938, to Chicago, where he lived
and worked until his death, in
1969.
Dietrich Neumann is a pro-
fessor of the history of modern
architecture and urbanism at
Brown University, where he
concentrates on European and
American architectural produc-
tion from the late nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries
from the minutiae of building
technologies to the transatlantic
discourse about skyscrapers and
urbanism. He also works on the
history of lm-set design and on
architectural illumination. His
books include Film Architecture:
Set Design from Metropolis to Blade
Runner (Prestel, 1996), Richard
Neutras Windshield House
(Harvard, 2001), Architecture of
the Night (Prestel, 2002), and
The Structure of Light: Richard
Kelly and the Illumination of
Modern Architecture (Yale, 2010).
Two additional manuscripts are
scheduled for publication: The
Barcelona Pavilion (Chicago)
and A Skyscraper for Mussolini:
Palanti and Urban Planning in
Fascist Rome. Neumann studied
architecture at the Architectural
Association in London and
the Technische Universitt in
Munich, where he received his
PhD in 1988. Apart from teach-
ing at Brown University, he held
the chair as the rst Vincent
Scully Visiting Professor at
the Yale School of Architecture
(2007 2009) and has taught
at the Universidade do Porto,
Portugal, and at the Technische
Universitt in Munich.
WOLF SCHFER
Hitlers bomb should have mate-
rialized. Nazi Germany was a
developed state; its scientists
and engineers were among the
best; nuclear ssion had been
discovered in Berlin in 1938; the
German army was the rst to mil-
itarize nuclear energy research
and development; and early
German and American feasibility
studies of nuclear weapons were
not far apart. So why did Nazi
Germanys reactor and bomb
projects fail? In his Academy
project, Finalization and Failure:
A Comparative Management
Study of Big Weapons Programs
in World War II, Anna-Maria
Kellen Fellow Wolf Schfer
explores the functional and dys-
functional governance and man-
agement factors likely to make or
break large and complex research
and development programs.
Wolf Schfer is a professor
of history and the Associate
Dean of International Academic
Programs at Stony Brook
University. Educated at the
universities of Marburg, Bonn,
Kings College London, Munich,
and Bremen (PhD, 1983), he was
a research associate at the Max
Planck Institute in Starnberg
before becoming a professor at
the Fachhochschule Darmstadt
in 1985. After moving to the
United States, in 1989, to join
Stony Brooks history department,
he pioneered global history as an
alternative to world history and
founded the Center for Global &
Local History (home of the Long
Island History Journal, which he
continues to oversee), as well
as the Stony Brook Institute for
Global Studies and its publication,
Globality Studies Journal, of which
he has remained editor. Schfer
is the author of over eighty
articles and nine books. His book
Toward Pangaea II: Connected
Essays on Global History is forth-
coming from suny Press in 2014.
DAVID SCHEFFER
As senior adviser and counsel to
Madeleine Albright from 1993
through 1996 and a member of
the Deputies Committee of the
National Security Council, Bosch
Fellow in Public Policy David
Scheffer had a front-row seat to
American policymaking dur-
ing the Yugoslav wars. During
his residency at the American
Academy, Scheffer will examine
discussions within the govern-
ment that framed the political,
military, and economic policies
in response to the conagration
in the Balkans during the early
1990s. Drawing upon his own
experiences as an adviser and
policymaker, newly declassied
information, and interviews with
key actors, he plans to write a
narrative of the highly conten-
tious, often awed, but occasion-
ally successful American policy-
making during these years.
David Scheffer is the Mayer
Brown/Robert A. Helman
Professor of Law and Director
of the Center for International
Human Rights at Northwestern
University School of Law. As
the US Ambassador-at-Large
for War Crimes Issues (1997
2001), he played a central role in
negotiating the creation of the
International Criminal Tribunals
for the former Yugoslavia and
Rwanda, the Special Court for
Sierra Leone, the Extraordinary
Chambers in the Courts of
Cambodia, and the International
Criminal Court. Scheffer
earned degrees from Harvard
College, Oxford University, and
Georgetown University Law
Center. His book All the Missing
Souls: A Personal History of the
War Crimes Tribunals (Princeton,
2012) received the Book of the
Year Award by the American
National Section of LAssociation
Internationale de Droit Penal.
Scheffer was selected by Foreign
Policy as one of the Top Global
Thinkers of 2011.
THOMAS SCHESTAG
In 1949, the French poet and
essayist Francis Ponge described
the sun as the formal and indis-
pensable condition of (our) exis-
tence. In his Academy project,
John P. Birkelund Fellow in the
Humanities Thomas Schestag
will provide transcriptions, trans-
lations, and philological com-
mentary to accompany a critical
and integral facsimile edition
of the 225 collected manuscript
News from the Hans Arnhold Center | Life & Letters | N13
pages and typescripts of Ponges
unpublished dossier Le Soleil
(The Sun). The project also
includes a critical essay compar-
ing Ponges understanding of the
sun with other philosophical and
literary texts: Platos allegory of
the cave and the almost obsessive
preoccupation with the sun in the
writings of Georges Bataille, as
well as Saint Francis of Assisis
Il Cantico di Frate Sole and Jean
de La Fontaines fable about the
wind and the sun, Phbus et
Bore.
Thomas Schestag is a scholar
of German and comparative
literature. Since 2005 he has
taught in the United States
at Northwestern University
and Johns Hopkins University,
as well as in Germany at the
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-
Universitt Bonn and the
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt
Munich. He will join the depart-
ment of German studies at
Brown University in January
2014. Educated in Zurich (PhD,
1988) and at the Freie Universitt
Berlin (MA, 1984), Schestag has
published widely on theories
of names and naming, herme-
neutics and translation, and the
intersection of philosophy, poetry,
and political theory. An English
translation of his 2006 book, Die
unbewltigte Sprache (Engeler), on
Hannah Arendts theory of poetry,
is in preparation. Schestag is also
investigating the idea of sensus
communis (koine aisthe sis) con-
cerning the existence of a sense
for language preceding the pre-
conceptual notion of a linguistic
common sense.
FELICITY SCOTT
The 1960s and 1970s saw the
increasing inscription of archi-
tecture within a global matrix
of forces concerned with the
environment, development,
migration, and war. In the
process, the conventional con-
ception of architectural objects
and practices fundamentally
changed. It is this transforma-
tion, and its capacity to speak
more broadly about historical
forces, that German Transatlantic
Program Fellow Felicity Scott
explicates in her Academy project,
Outlaw Territory: Environments of
Insecurity/Architectures of Counter-
Insurgency, 1966 1979, under
contract with Zone Books. Scott
investigates the relations of archi-
tecture and urbanism to the con-
ditions of human unsettlement
and territorial insecurity. Here
she is referring to the displace-
ment of persons through migra-
tion, urbanization, environmen-
tal catastrophe, and warfare, as
well as the material, environmen-
tal, psychological, and geopoliti-
cal transformations brought on
by post-industrial technologies
and neoliberal capitalism.
Felicity Scott is an associ-
ate professor at Columbia
Universitys Graduate School
of Architecture, Planning, and
Preservation and the founding
director of its Program in Critical,
Curatorial, and Conceptual
Practices in Architecture. She
is a founding co-editor of Grey
Room, a quarterly journal of archi-
tecture, art, media, and politics.
Following undergraduate studies
at the University of Melbourne,
she received a masters degree in
architecture and urban design
from Harvard University and a
PhD from Princeton University.
Scott is the author of Architecture
or Techno-Utopia: Politics after
Modernism (mit, 2007), Living
Archive 7: Ant Farm (actar
Editorial, 2008), and a new book
manuscript, Cartographies
of Drift: Bernard Rudofskys
Encounters with Modernity.
Scott is the recipient of grants
and awards from the Graham
Foundation for Advanced Studies
in the Fine Arts, New York State
Council on the Arts, the Clark
Art Institute, Creative Capital/
Warhol Foundation, and J. Paul
Getty Foundation.
TARA ZAHRA
In her Academy book project,
Exodus from the East: Emigration
and the Making of the Free World,
under contract with W.W. Norton,
Berthold Leibinger Fellow Tara
Zahra traces emigration from
East Central Europe in the period
between 1889 and 1989, exam-
ining ideals of freedom, new
forms of social protection, and
border controls in both East and
West. Zahra argues that the link
between freedom and mobil-
ity was contested long before
Communists closed the Iron
Curtain. Security and social
solidarity, rather than mobility,
comprised for the East an alter-
nate vision of freedom. Based
on research in Austrian, Czech,
Polish, French, and German
archives, Zahras study brings
a new perspective to the history
of European migration, suggest-
ing that East European concerns
about emigration, as much as
Western xenophobia and restric-
tion, propelled the fortication of
twentieth-century borders.
Tara Zahra is a professor
of history at the University of
Chicago and is interested in
comparative approaches to
modern European history, with
a particular focus on migration
and displacement, national-
ism, gender and the family,
international humanitarian-
ism, and human rights. She
holds degrees from Swarthmore
College and the University of
Michigan and has received fel-
lowships from the American
Council for Learned Societies,
the National Endowment for the
Humanities, and the Harvard
Society of Fellows. Zahras rst
book, Kidnapped Souls: National
Indifference and the Battle for
Children in the Bohemian Lands,
1900 1948 (Cornell, 2008),
received several awards, includ-
ing the Laura Shannon Prize
in Contemporary European
History and the Hans Rosenberg
Prize. Her second book, The Lost
Children: Reconstructing Europes
Families after World War II
(Harvard, 2011), was awarded the
2012 George Louis Beer Prize in
European International History
by the American Historical
Association and the Radomir
Luza Prize of the Austrian
Cultural Forum.
Distinguished Visitors
ROBERT O. KEOHANE
Allianz Distinguished Visitor
Robert O. Keohane is Professor
of International Affairs at the
Woodrow Wilson School of
Public and International Affairs
at Princeton University. He is
the author of the groundbreak-
ing book After Hegemony:
Cooperation and Discord in the
World Political Economy (1984), as
well as Neorealism and Its Critics
(1986), and most recently, Power
and Governance in a Partially
Globalized World (2002). He is
the co-author or editor of numer-
ous volumes on humanitarian
intervention, security organiza-
tions, and global environmental
protection agencies. In 2005,
Keohane was selected as the most
inuential scholar of internation-
al relations in a Foreign Policy poll.
LISA ANDERSON
Richard C. Holbrooke
Distinguished Visitor Lisa
Anderson is a specialist on poli-
tics in the Middle East and North
Africa. She has been the president
of the American University in
Cairo since January 2011, where
she was provost from 2008 2010.
Previously, Anderson served as
the chair of the political science
department, dean of the School of
International and Public Affairs,
and director of the Middle East
Institute at Columbia University.
She is the author of Pursuing Truth,
Exercising Power: Social Science
and Public Policy in the Twenty-rst
Century (Columbia University
Press, 2003) and The State and
Social Transformation in Tunisia
and Libya, 1830 1980 (Princeton
University Press, 1986).
NANNERL O. KEOHANE
Richard C. Holbrooke
Distinguished Visitor Nannerl
O. Keohane writes and teaches
political philosophy, leadership,
and feminist theory. Her current
research is focused on inequality
and gender issues. Keohane has
served as the president of both
Wellesley College (1981 1993) and
N14 | Life & Letters | News from the Hans Arnhold Center
Dennis C. Dickerson, James
M. Lawson, Jr. Professor of
History at Vanderbilt University,
will work on his book A Brother
in the Spirit of Gandhi: William
Stuart Nelson and the Relgious
Origins of the Civil Rights
Movement on the black religious
intellectuals who studied and
practiced nonviolence as a strat-
egy for social change. Author
Leslie Dunton-Downer
will work on a memoir entitled
The Rumi Singer: Journey after a
Voice from Central Asia, inspired
by a chance encounter with a
singer in the Gorno-Badakhshan
region of Tajikistan on the eve of
September 11. Journalist Dexter
Filkins, who has reported from
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq
for the New York Times and is cur-
rently a staff writer for the New
Yorker, will work on a yet-untitled
historical novel that moves
between Europe and Pakistan.
Visual media artist LaToya
Ruby Frazier, associate cura-
tor of the Mason Gross Galleries
at Rutgers University, will pursue
a project entitled Framework:
Activism, Memory and the Social
Landscape. Composer, improvis-
er, and sound artist Mat thew
Goodheart will compose
For Five Scattered Ensembles,
a work for 14 musicians
divided into four ensembles
and eight computer-controlled
metal percussion instruments.
Linda Henderson, David
Bruton Jr. Centennial Professor
in Art History and Regents
Outstanding Teaching Professor
at the University of Texas at
Austin, will work on her project,
The Energies of Modernism: Art,
Science, and Occultism in the
Early Twentieth Century, the
rst major study of the science
and occultism that were central
to modern artists understand-
ing of reality and to the new
languages they invented to
embody it. Author Jonathan
Lethem, Roy E. Disney Chair
in Creative Writing at Pomona
College, will work on a series of
partially developed novels and
novellas, which may intersect
to form the foundation of his
most complex ctional work yet.
Brian McAllister Linn,
Ralph R. Thomas Professor in
Liberal Arts and Professor of
History at Texas A&M University,
will work on his book Elviss
Army: Transformation and the
Atomic-Era Soldier, 1946 1965,
the rst scholarly monograph to
look at the US Armys military
and social transformation in the
early Cold War and its impact on
American society. Photographer
Dominique Nabokov will
work on her project Berlin
Living Rooms, the third in her
trilogy of books documenting
residential interiors after Paris
Living Rooms and New York Living
Rooms. Sylvia Nasar, James S.
and John L. Knight Professor of
Business Journalism at Columbia
University, describes in her
Academy project, End game:
Soviet Collaborators, Spies, and
Agents of Inuence at the End
of World War II, how George
Orwell, Gunnar Myrdal, and
other Western intellectuals were
convinced that the world would
be split into two warring empires.
Author and journalist George
Packer will work on a biography
of Richard C. Holbrooke entitled
Richard Holbrooke and the End of
the American Century, tracing his
career from Vietnam in the early
1960s, through the Balkans in
the mid 1990s, to Afghanistan
and Pakistan, his last diplomatic
mission. Janet Richards,
Professor of Egyptology in the
Department of Near Eastern
Studies, questions the relation-
ship of ancient individuals to
politics and society as well as
the operation of social memory
in sacred and political land-
scapes in her project, Writing
Ancient Lives: Weni the Elder
and Ancient Egyptian Responses
to Political Crisis. Independent
journalist Laura Secor
chronicles the emergence of the
movement for democratic reform
within the Islamic Republic of
Iran in her Academy project,
Fugitives from Paradise, which
builds on pieces she published
in the New Yorker from 2005
through 2012. Susan Stewart,
Avalon Foundation University
Professor in the Humanities
and Director of the Society of
Fellows in the Liberal Arts at
Princeton University, will work
on a draft of The Ruins Lesson, a
work on the representation and
function of ruins in Western
art and literature, as well as on
a new collection of poems enti-
tled Bramble. Ronald Suny,
Charles Tilly Collegiate Professor
of Social and Political History
at the University of Michigan,
will complete his monograph
Why Genocide? The Fate of the
Armenians and Assyrians at the
End of the Ottoman Empire, in
which he examines motivating
factors behind the deportations
and massacres of Armenians and
Assyrians in 1915.
Sneak Preview
The American Academy is proud to welcome another outstanding class of fellows to the Hans Arnhold Center
Duke University (1993 2004) and
is the author of Thinking about
Leadership (Princeton University
Press, 2010), Higher Ground:
Ethics and Leadership in the Modern
University (Duke University Press,
2006), Philosophy and the State
in France (1980), and co-editor
of Feminist Theory: A Critique
of Ideology (1981). Keohane has
taught at Swarthmore College, the
University of Pennsylvania, and
Stanford University.
VACLAV SMIL
The eads Distinguished Visitor
Vaclav Smil is Distinguished
Professor Emeritus in the
Department of Environment
and Geography at the University
of Manitoba, in Winnipeg,
Canada. His research interests
encompass the areas of energy,
the environment, food, popula-
tion, the economy, history, and
public policy, including Chinese
environmental policy. Smil has
published more than thirty books
and some four hundred papers.
His recent works include Should
We Eat Meat? Evolution and
Consequences of Modern Carnivory
(Wiley-Blackwell, 2013) and
Harvesting the Biosphere: What
We Have Taken from Nature (mit
Press, 2013), among others. In
2010, Smil was listed by Foreign
Policy among its Top 100 Global
Thinkers.
DAVID LIPTON
Kurt Viermetz Distinguished
Visitor David Lipton currently
serves as First Deputy Managing
Director of the International
Monetary Fund. Before joining
the Fund as Special Advisor to
the Managing Director, in 2011,
Lipton was Special Assistant
to the President and served as
Senior Director for International
Economic Affairs at the National
Economic Council and National
Security Council at the White
House. Previously, he was a
managing director at Citi, where
he was Head of Global Country
Risk Management. As Under
Secretary of the Treasury for
International Affairs in the Clinton
Administration, Lipton helped
lead the response to the nancial
crisis in Asia and the effort to
modernize international nancial
architecture. Lipton earned a PhD
and MA from Harvard University
in 1982 and a BA from Wesleyan
University in 1975. j.t.e.
News from the Hans Arnhold Center | Life & Letters | N15
Alumni Books
New releases by Academy fellows
KIRK W. JOHNSON
To Be a Friend is Fatal: A Story
from the Aftermath of America
at War
Scribner, October 2013
PIERRE JORIS
Meditations on the Stations of
Mansur Al-Hallaj
Chax Press, July 2013
JOSEPH JUPILLE, WALTER
MATTLI, AND DUNCAN SNIDAL
Institutional Choice and Global
Commerce
Cambridge University Press,
September 2013
AUGUST KLEINZAHLER
The Hotel Oneira
Farrar, Straus and Giroux,
October 2013
EVONNE LEVY AND KENNETH
MILLS (EDS.)
Lexikon of the Hispanic Baroque:
Transatlantic Exchange and
Transformation
University of Texas Press,
December 2013
CHRISTOPHER MIDDLETON
Forty Days in the Calypso Saloon
and Frescoes with Grafti
Sheep Meadow, September 2013
H.C. ERIK MIDELFORT
Witchcraft, Madness, Society and
Religion in Early Modern Germany
Ashgate; new edition, June 2013
W.J.T. MITCHELL, BERNARD
E. HARCOURT, AND MICHAEL
TAUSSIG
Occupy: Three Inquiries in
Disobedience
University of Chicago Press,
May 2013
HILTON ALS
White Girls
McSweeneys, November 2013
KAREN ALTER
The New Terrain of International
Law: Courts, Politics, Rights
Princeton University Press,
December 2013
SINAN ANTOON
The Corpse Washer
Yale University Press, July 2013
BENJAMIN BARBER
If Mayors Ruled the World:
Dysfunctional Nations,
Rising Cities
Yale University Press,
November 2013
XU BING AND SHELAGH VAINKER
Landscape Landscript: Nature as
Language in the Art of Xu Bing
Ashmolean Museum, May 2013
PHILIP V. BOHLMAN
Revival and Reconciliation: Sacred
Music in the Making of European
Modernity
Scarecrow Press, June 2013
T.J. CLARK
Piccasso and Truth: From Cubism
to Guernica
Princeton University Press,
May 2013
NICHOLAS DAWIDOFF
Collision Low Crossers: A Year
Inside the Turbulent World of nfl
Football
Little, Brown and Company,
November 2013
LELAND DE LA DURANTAYE
(TRANSLATOR)
The Unspeakable Girl: The Myth
and Mystery of Kore by Giorgio
Agamben
Seagull Books, October 2013
MARTIN K. DIMITROV
Why Communism Did Not
Collapse: Understanding
Authoritarian Regime Resilience in
Asia and Europe
Cambridge University Press,
August 2013
DONALD L. HOROWITZ
Constitutional Change and
Democracy in Indonesia
Cambridge University Press,
May 2013
GEOFFREY OBRIEN
Stolen Glimpses, Captive Shadows:
Writing on Film, 2002 2012
Counterpoint, May 2013
ANSON RABINBACH, SANDER L.
GILMAN (EDS.)
The Third Reich Sourcebook
University of California Press,
July 2013
CHARLES BRIAN ROSE
The Archaeology of Greek and
Roman Troy
Cambridge University Press,
November 2013
DAVID WARREN SABEAN, JASON
PHILIP COY, AND BENJAMIN
MARSCHKE (EDS.)
The Holy Roman Empire,
Reconsidered
Berghahn Books, July 2013
BARBARA SCHMITTER HEISLER
From German Prisoner of War to
American Citizen. A Social History
with 35 Interviews
McFarland, August 2013
GAVRIEL SHAPIRO
The Tender Friendship and the
Charm of Perfect Accord: Nabokov
and His Father
University of Michigan Press,
December 2013
CELINA SU AND PETER MUENNIG
Introducing Global Health:
Practise, Policy and Solutions
Jossey-Bass, August 2013
DANIEL TIFFANY
My Silver Planet: A Secret History
of Poetry and Kitsch
Johns Hopkins University Press,
December 2013
N16 | Private Initiative Public Outreach | News from the Hans Arnhold Center
Private Initiative Public Outreach
CORPORATIONS AND CORPORATE FOUNDATIONS
PRESIDENTS CIRCLE
$25,000 and above
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
BASF SE
Robert Bosch GmbH
Robert Bosch Stiftung
Cerberus Deutschland
Beteiligungsberatung GmbH
Daimler AG
Daimler-Fonds im Stifterverband fr
die Deutsche Wissenschaft
Deutsche Lufthansa AG
Dussmann Stiftung & Co. KgaA
EADS
Freshelds Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Fritz Henkel Stiftung
Hewlett-Packard GmbH
KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprfungs-
gesellschaft
Pzer Pharma GmbH
Porsche AG
Susanna Dulkinys & Erik Spiekermann
Edenspiekermann
Telefnica Deutschland Holding AG
White & Case LLP
BENEFACTORS
up to $25,000
BMW AG
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals
C.H. Beck Stiftung
CNC Communications & Network
Consulting AG
Deutsche Bundesbank
Drr AG
FAKTOR 3 AG
Fleishman-Hillard Germany / Public
Affairs & Gov. Relations
GIESEN HEIDBRINK Partnerschaft von
Rechtsanwlten
Google Germany GmbH
GRG Partnerschaft von
Rechtsanwlten
Hotel Adlon
Investitionsbank Berlin
Berthold Leibinger Stiftung
MSD Sharp & Dohme GmbH
Waldorf Astoria Berlin
WilmerHale
INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILY FOUNDATIONS
FOUNDERS CIRCLE
$1 million and above
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen
Foundation and the descendants of
Hans and Ludmilla Arnhold
CHAIRMANS CIRCLE
$ 100,000 and above
Estate of Richard C. Holbrooke
Nina & Lothar von Maltzahn
Kati Marton
Inga Maren Otto
DIRECTORS CIRCLE
$ 25,000 and above
Werner Gegenbauer
Richard K. Goeltz
C. Boyden Gray
Mercedes & A. Michael Hoffman
TRUSTEES CIRCLE
$10,000 and above
Wolfgang Malchow
Erich Marx
Alfred Freiherr von Oppenheim-
Stiftung im Stifterverband fr die
Deutsche Wissenschaft
Philipp von Randow
Si & Dieter Rosenkranz
Kurt F. Viermetz
PATRONS
$2,500 and above
Robert Z. Aliber, Anonymous, Heinrich
J. Barth, Volker Booten, Gahl H.
Burt, Georg Graf zu Castell-Castell,
Norma Drimmer, Thomas Eller,
Jutta von Falkenhausen & Thomas
van Aubel, Julie Finley, Inge Groth-
Fromm & Hartmut Fromm, Edith &
Egon Geerkens, Clare R. & Vartan
Gregorian, Lily & Klaus Heiliger,
Stefan von Holtzbrinck, August J. P.
von Joest, Ulrich Kissing, Henry A.
Kissinger, John C. Kornblum, Renate
Kchler, Jutta & Hans-Joachim
Prie, Stefanie & Martin Seyfarth,
Katharina & Wolf Spieth, Clemens
Vedder, Barbara & Jrg Zumbaum
FELLOWSHIPS AND DISTINGUISHED
VISITORSHIPS ESTABLISHED IN PERPETUITY
John P. Birkelund Berlin Prize in the Humanities
Daimler Berlin Prize
German Transatlantic Program Berlin Prize
supported by European Recovery Program funds
granted through the Transatlantic Program of the
Federal Republic of Germany
Nina Maria Gorrissen Berlin Prize in History
Mary Ellen von der Heyden Berlin Prize in Fiction
Holtzbrinck Berlin Prize
Dirk Ippen Berlin Prize
Guna S. Mundheim Berlin Prize in the Visual Arts
Lloyd Cutler Distinguished Visitorship
EADS Distinguished Visitorship
Marina Kellen French Distinguished Visitorship
for Persons with Outstanding Accomplishment
in the Cultural World
Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Visitorship
Stephen M. Kellen Distinguished Visitorship
Kurt Viermetz Distinguished Visitorship
Richard von Weizscker Distinguished Visitorship
ANNUALLY FUNDED FELLOWSHIPS AND
DISTINGUISHED VISITORSHIPS
Bosch Berlin Prize in Public Policy
Ellen Maria Gorrissen Berlin Prize
Anna-Maria Kellen Berlin Prize
Berthold Leibinger Berlin Prize
Inga Maren Otto Berlin Prize in Music Composition
Siemens Berlin Prize
Axel Springer Berlin Prize
Allianz Distinguished Visitorship
ENDOWMENT GIVING
Max Beckmann Distinguished Visitorship
Richard Artschwager, Mayen Beckmann,
Francesco Clemente, George Condo, Aaron
Curry, Tacita Dean, Thomas Demand, Deutsche
Brse AG, Mitch Epstein, Galerie Max Hetzler &
Andr Butzer, Jenny Holzer, Alex Katz, Louise
Lawler, Barry Le Va & David Nolan, Julie Mehretu,
Matt Mullican, Alexander Ochs, Paul Pfeiffer,
Anselm Reyle, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha,
Victoria & Aurel Scheibler, Bernd Schultz and
the partners of Villa Grisebach Auktionen GmbH,
Berlin, Philomene Magers & Monika Sprth,
Sprth Magers Berlin/London, Christine &
Gnther Uecker, Xu Bing
Marcus Bierich Distinguished Visitorship
Robert Bierich, Deutsche Bank AG
The American Academy in Berlin is funded almost entirely by private donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations. We depend on the generosity of
a widening circle of friends on both sides of the Atlantic and wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to those who support us. This list documents the contributions
made to the American Academy from October 2012 to October 2013.
FRIENDS up to $2,500 Johannes Altincioglu, Hans Amann, American International Yacht Club, Barbara Balaj, Elizabeth Barlow, Diethart Breipohl, Eckhard Bremer, Irene
Bringmann, Christian Bunsen, Ellen C. & Stephen B. Burbank, Candia Clark, Hon. Arthur J. Collingsworth, Georg Crezelius, Christian Crones, Rudolf Delius, Barbara & David
Detjen, Astrid & Detlef Diederichs, Margrit & Steven Disman, Brigitte Dring, Andreas Dombret, Brbel & Ulrich Gensch, Marie Louise Gericke, Golf- und Land-Club Berlin-
Wannsee e.V., Jan Groscurth, Nancy & Mark Gruett, Ralf Gtersloh, Thomas Guth, Donald Hagan, Marisa & Carl H. Hahn, Brigitte & Bernd Hellthaler, Gabriele Henkel, The
Hermes Foundation, Gudrun & Eberhard Jaeschke, Roe Jasen, Isabel & Peter von Jena, KfW Bankengruppe, Marion Knauf, Nina & Daniel Libeskind, Quincy Liu, Lisa F. & David
J. Miller, Jan-Daniel Neumann, Wolfram Nolte, Susan Rambow, Beatrice Reese, Christa Freifrau & Hermann Freiherr von Richthofen, Rafael J. Roth, Henry Sapparth, Harald
Schmid, Kerstin von Schnakenburg, Geraldine Schroeder, Sky Deutschland AG, Manfred von Sperber, Maren & Joachim Strngmann, The Teagle Foundation, Thomas von
Thaden, Lutz Weisser, Sabine & Edwin Wiley, Pauline Yu
Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 29
RESTLESSNESS
Forty winks, where art thou?
By Heidi Julavits
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WILCO SCHIPPERS, SCARY LADY, 2010. DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPH
30 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
I
am a sleep hunter. I track sleep
through my house. I track it with a
ashlight, and a bottle of pills, and
two pillows, and a blanket, and a book for
killing time in the blind before the dark
herd comes. I wait until Im sick of waiting.
Then I pack my gear and move to better
hunting grounds, to far-ung reaches of
the house where sleep has been spotted at
two am, at three.
The obvious place to hunt for sleep is
beds. This house in Maine, where we live
three months of the year, has no short-
age of them. Each has its virtues. The
Husband Bed is recommended because
of the Husband whos frequently in it; the
mattress was once decent, and the room
hums and hisses with many colored noises:
brown, white, whatever color the dehumidi-
ers noise is purple. But this bed is per-
petually damp like the berths aboard a boat
are perpetually damp. The pillows smell of
the dirt basement located just beneath us.
Theres a whole second oor pressing down
above this bed, and the ceilings are already
low. Brown, white, purple, damp, lowness.
Also gnats. (The windows are not so com-
mitted to the walls.)
Its 12:20 AM. I pack my gear. I move.
Upstairs are the Childrens Beds. Child
One sleeps on a slim futon puffed in the
center like a dinner roll. There is no lying
on this bed. There is only falling off. Child
One is wedged against the wall; I cling to
the futons outer edge. Still, sleep can be
found here on the brink. Child One and I
have a long history of sleeping together in
the least sleep-friendly spaces. Weve slept
together on concrete oors. Weve slept
together in the same wooden chair. Weve
slept together angry, sometimes at each
other.
Not tonight.
12:20
Its 12:51 AM. I pack my gear. I move.
Child Two sleeps perpendicular to Child
One. He is smaller and has lower stan-
dards; he sleeps on a twin air mattress.
Night is one big camping trip for him. He
wears blue jeans to bed. He, too, has a col-
lection of night gear he hunts sleep with
actual weapons and Japanese ghting tops.
He gets angry when I move my gear into
his territory. He grumbles and kicks, and
his weapons roll off the mattress. Twin
air mattresses are not ideal even for one
person. They are basically pool toys for
houses. But I sleep with him when Im wor-
ried hell be killed. Im worried the ex-con
Vietnam vet who spray-painted pirate ships
and whales on the sides of my neighbors
barns, and who was very skilled at making
gravity-defying cairns, and who might have
been driven out of town for, rumor had it,
psychologically imprisoning an old woman
and hitting on teenage girls, and to whom
I once made darkly comic reference in an
essay, is going to break into our unlocked
house and stab everyone but me.
This fear, pushed to its logical conclusion
(funerals, unbearable grief, my joining a
gently coercive self-help cult run by a Katie
Couric look-alike), can put me right to sleep.
Not tonight. 1:12 AM. I move.
Across the hall is a guest room. This room
is unheated. Additionally it is haunted. The
ghost is female, harmless. She is the girl,
Im fairly certain, who pasted pages from
early-twentieth-century fashion magazines
on the walls of the storage space reached via
a cupboard-like door next to the bed.
When I want to be watched, I sleep in this
room.
I lie in the bed. I am so awake that I experi-
mentally knock my forehead against the
12:51
01:12
wall. If I knew Morse code, I might be say-
ing something. But I dont want to appear
unhinged, especially in front of a ghost.
I dont want to be watched, not tonight. The
struggle to sleep is like being sick, or in
labor, or maybe dying. I want a dark place to
do it alone.
1:48 AM. I consider the couches. We own
two. I sometimes sleep on the old living-
room couch, but only in winter when the
moon is full and theres a layer of ice atop
the snow and the whole yard gleams. The
new living-room couch is wool. It itches. No
matter the season, I do not bother hunting
there.
2:00 AM. I return to the Husband Bed.
I think, This is where I belong. That was
just a larky bit of night tourism I got up
to! I was not seriously considering a move.
I try to slide under the blanket without
disturbing anything, not even the wet air
(which, when bothered at this hour, makes
a loud sucking sound). I lie stify and
wonder how the Husband has achieved
what he has achieved. How does he do it,
just sleep like this? How does he nd sleep
without looking for it, how at night does
he travel so light? I become jealous. The
Husband has it so easy. He has no idea how
much work I do while he sleeps. Keeping
Child One and Child Two from dying.
Hanging out with the ghost of that dream-
ing girl who probably never in her whole
life made it out of this town, who needs
a friend like me to say reassuring things
to her like, Seriously, New York isnt all
that. I protect the dead and the undead
of this house. I am guarding against the
good odds that lull a person to sleep. The
0.000000000000000000001 percent
chance that an ex-con Vietnam vet reads
literary anthologies to identify his next
target. The 0.000000000000000000001
percent chance that Child One and
Child Twos propane space heater will
malfunction and they will die like
01:48
02:00
Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 31
Vitas Gerulaitis in the Hamptons. The
0.000000000000000000001 percent
chance that tonight a mouse will nibble
through the old wiring and make homeless
our ghost.
2:45 AM. I give up on the house. I track
sleep outside. It is hard to maneuver
through the snapping screen door with all
my gear. The blanket catches on the latch.
The ashlight lands on the deck. I fumble
the pill bottle into a bush. I swear and get
02:45
really fucking mad and throw every fuck-
ing thing I havent already fucking dropped
onto the grass. Then I reassemble my stuff
and my cool and head for the chicken shack.
Or what was formerly a chicken shack or a
tool shed and is now a place for the guests
we try rarely to have. There is no heat and
no water; the bed is covered with blankets
that could be rugs. To lie in this bed is to
feel like theres a body on top of you. But
not a body to which you owe anything no
love and no worry. I watch the ceiling seam
where the wasps climb in and out and
ask myself the hard questions. Why must
I exile myself to a stand-alone building?
A place built for chickens or tools? I tell
myself its a virtue, my failure to sleep in
my own house, or at all. I tell myself that I
spend more hours than most people aware
that I am alive, and that over a lifetime this
adds up to more living, more aliveness.
I am more alive than the rest of my family.
Which is my greatest night fear. Which is
why I hunt. I dont ever want to be more
alive than they are.

Heidi Julavits is a writer and co-editor


of The Believer. She is at the American
Academy in fall 2013 accompany-
ing her husband, ction fellow Ben
Marcus. This article is reproduced with
special permission from the August
2013 issue of Harpers Magazine.
Harpers Magazine. All rights
reserved.
ALEXANDER L. GAHAN, BUAHAHAHA, IM A PLAYMOBIL, 2013. DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPH
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32 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
THE
LOYALTY
PROTOCOL
By Ben Marcus


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JESSICA RANKIN, NOCTURNE (DETAIL), 2004. EMBROIDERY ON ORGANDY, 2.13 X 2.13 M
Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 33
Later, his helpless parents in tow,
Edward could explain the mistake, if nec-
essary. By then itd be too conspicuous
to leave them stranded in the road while
everyone else left town.
Owing to the roadblock that would be
set up on Morris Avenue, Edward parked at
Grove and Williams and trekked through
muddy backyards to the apartment com-
plex. He cursed himself, because hed
have to lead his parents back the same way,
down a wet slope where his car would be
waiting. In the many congurations theyd
rehearsed at the workshop, somehow he
had not accounted for this major obstacle:
herding his parents in the dark down a
steep, wet slope.
His father was awake and packed already,
wandering through the apartment. When
Edward walked in, his father started to put
on his coat.
Wheres Mom?
Not coming, I guess, his father said.
Dad.
You try. I tried already. You try if you
want to. Im disgusted. Im ready to go. Do
you know how many times Ive had to do
this?
Did they call you? Edward asked.
Did who call me? His father was on the
defensive. Had he even slept? Had he been
up all night, waiting?
Did your phone ring tonight? Edward
asked, trying not to sound impatient. There
were cautions against this very thing, the
petty quarrels associated with departure,
which only escalate during an emergency.
I dont know, Eddie. Our phone doesnt
work. Im ready to go. Im always ready.
Were down there almost every night. Why
not tonight?
Edward picked up the phone and heard
an odd pitch. More like an emergency sig-
nal than a dial tone.
You dont believe me? his father said.
I tell you the phone doesnt work and you
dont trust me?
I trust you. Lets get Mom and go.
His mother was in bed, sheets pulled
over her face. It felt wrong to sit on his
parents bed, to touch his mother while she
was lying down. Standing up, he could hug
and kiss his mother with only the usual
awkwardness, but once she was prone it
seemed inappropriate, like touching a dead
person. He shook her gently.
Cmon, Mom, lets go. Get dressed.
She answered from under the sheets,
in a voice that was fully awake. Awake and
bothered.
Im too tired. Im not going.
Theyd been told that, at times like this,
old people dig in their heels. More than
any other population, the elderly refuse to
go. They hide in their homes, wait in the
dark of their yards while their houses are
searched. Often they request to die. Some
of them do not request it. They take matters
into their own hands.
But there were a few little things you
could do to persuade them, and Edward had
learned some of them in the workshop.
Mom, you dont know what youre
saying. You really dont want to be here,
I promise you.
See what I told you? said his father
from the doorway. Tell him to shut up,
said his mother.
You shut up, his father barked. Dont
ever tell me to shut up.
Shut up, she whispered.
HE COULD HEAR HIS MOTHER
BREATHING UNDER THE SHEETS.
SHE SEEMED TO BE LISTENING.
HE PAUSED A BIT LONGER FOR
SUSPENSE.
They waited in his parents room, where
hed come and snuggled as a child, a thou-
sand years ago, and he couldnt help siding
with his mother. It would be so wonderful
to fall back asleep right now. If only.
Mom, if you dont come with us, who
knows where youll sleep tonight. Or you
wont sleep. I can guarantee that you
wont like what will happen. It will be hor-
rible. Do you want me to tell you what will
happen?
He could hear his mother breathing
under the sheets. She seemed to be listen-
ing. He paused a bit longer for suspense.
I could spell it out for you. Would you like
me to do that? I have to say Id rather not.
Something wordless, passing for sur-
render, sounded. Edward left the room to
give her time and it wasnt long before she
joined them in the front hall, scowling.
Shed thrown a coat over her nightgown
and carried a small bag.
Okay? said Edward.
They didnt answer, just followed him
outside, where the streets were empty.
Wheres your car? his mother
grumbled.
He explained what theyd have to do and
they looked at him as if he were crazy.
Do you see any other cars here? he
whispered. Do you know why?
T
he phone call said to come
alone, but he couldnt just leave
them. Perhaps theyd been called,
too, and didnt remember the procedure,
which would only gure. His father was
not good with instructions. Worse, his
father was fatally indifferent to what
people said. Other people spoke and the
mans face went blank, as if any voice
but his own was in a foreign language.
Perhaps his father had not heard the
phone. Or maybe he mistook the mes-
sage for a prank and hung up.
34 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
Dont act like you know whats going
on, his father whispered as they trekked
out. Youre as much in the dark as we are.
You have no idea whats really happening.
None. Fucking hotshot. Tell me one fact.
I dare you.
When they reached the hill and had to
navigate the decline, his mother kept fall-
ing. Shed fall and cry out, landing on her
rear end in the grass. Hed never heard her
cry in pain before. His father was beside
her holding her arm, but she was the larger
of his parents and when she stumbled his
father strained and couldnt hold her up.
He lost his temper and kept yelling at her,
and nally, softly, she said she was doing
her best. She really was.
Well, I cant carry you! he yelled.
Then dont, she replied, and she stood
up and tried to walk on her own, but she
went down again, with an awful cry, sliding
through the mud.
In the car she wept and Edward felt
ashamed. This was supposedly the easy
part.
T
he gymnasium was crowded.
A motor roared, which must have
been the generator, because they
would have lost power at this point. They
signed in, then looked for their settlements,
divided by neighborhood. This was the
drill. Edward would have a different settle-
ment from his parents, which hed tried to
explain to them, but his father had trouble
with the terminology.
Its not a settlement, hed said.
Okay, I agree, but thats what theyre
calling it.
Its ridiculous. Well be staying there for
what, a few hours, not even, and they call it
a settlement? A settlement is a place where
people stop and stay. You know, people live
in a settlement.
Dad, I dont think it really matters.
I think what matters is you nd the area
where youre supposed to be and then go
there.
But it wont be the area where you will be,
am I right?
Thats right. But Ill be nearby. Ill be
able to check on you and Mom.
You dont know that, though, Eddie.
How could you know that?
When Edward brought his parents to
their settlement, he could not get them
admitted. A young woman he knew as
Hannah had the clipboard. After scanning
her pages, she shook her head.
Theyre not on my list.
They live in this neighborhood. He
gave her their address, their apartment
number. For no real reason he gave her
their zip code, the solitary zip code for all
of them.
In the crowd that had already registered
were several of his parents neighbors,
huddled against a wall. There were retirees
from his parents building. Neighbors who
knew his parents. This was the right place.
He waved, but no one saw him.
Hannah stared from behind her clip-
board. He could sense the protocol over-
whelming her mind. A street address,
recited anecdotally, was no kind of evidence.
Anyone could deliver that information.
Edward was only a man talking.
Do you want to see their drivers licens-
es? he asked, a bit too curtly. Not that hed
brought them.
No. I want to see their names on this list,
and since I dont, I cant admit them. I have
the most straightforward job in the world.
If you have a problem you should discuss
it with Frederick, but something tells me I
know what hell say.
From under her shawl Edwards mother
said, Eddie, its okay, well go with you
to yours. She sounded relieved. That
would solve everything and they could be
together.
HANNAH STARED FROM BEHIND
HER CLIPBOARD. HE COULD SENSE
THE PROTOCOL OVERWHELMING
HER MIND.
Edward looked at Hannah, who simply
raised her eyebrows. She and Edward
had once been on a team together at the
beginning. She had seemed nice. Very
smart, too, which explained her promo-
tion. Unfortunately, Hannah was impos-
sibly striking. He had been so desperately
compelled by her face that he had instantly
resolved never to look at her or show her
any kind of attention. Everything would be
much easier that way. It was troubling now
to discover that Hannah ran his parents
settlement. Was this how things were now?
Had everything shifted again? It meant
hed have to see more of her and regularly
be reminded that she would never be his.
She would never kiss him or get undressed
for him or relieve his needs before work or
stop trying to look pretty for him, which
was the part he liked best, at least when he
played out futures with women hed never
speak to. When someone like Hannah,
not that thered ever been someone like
Hannah, let herself go and showed up
on the couch after dinner in sweatpants
and a long, chewed-up sweater. It was
unbearable.
Edward knew that he shouldnt do this,
but Hannah would have to understand. He
broke character and pleaded with her.
Theres nowhere else to go. Can you
please take them? Please? Is someone really
going to come by later and match each per-
son to a name on your list?
She hardened her face. She wasnt
going to drop the act, and she seemed
disgusted with Edward for having done so
himself.
Did they get a phone call? she asked.
Even this question seemed beneath her.
He started to answer, guring he could
lie, when his father blurted out that their
phone was broken. How could you get a
phone call with a broken phone?
I assumed they did, he conded to
Hannah. Thats the truth. Why wouldnt
they get a call? Look, their neighbors are
here. People from the same building. Why
would my parents have been left out?
At this last question she looked at him
atly. Why indeed.
Theyre not supposed to be here,
Hannah said. You shouldnt have brought
them. You might consider . . . She seemed
reluctant to say what she was thinking. At
this point youve made a serious mistake
and you need to decide how to x it with
minimal impact on the community.
She glanced pitilessly at his parents,
then muttered, I know what I would do.
Edward gured that he knew what she
would do, too.
He leaned in so he could speak into
her ear. Are you carrying? he whispered.
Because if you are, and I could borrow it,
I could kill them right here, and it would
be a lesson for everyone. She was stone-
faced. That wasnt funny. There are people
behind you. I have a protocol to run.
Dont we all, Edward thought. But his
protocol, to keep his parents safe, could not
be achieved here.
Okay, well, thanks for your help, he
said, sneering. Good teamwork. Way to go.
She kept her cool. So you want me to
make a mistake, arguably a bigger one,
because you did? Lets say your mistake was
an accident, which possibly it was, although
I cant say. Im guessing youre not an imbe-
cile, although this is only a guess. You want
me to consciously break the rules. You want
your error, a stupid error, if you ask me, to
Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 35
beget other errors so were both somehow
to blame, even though I do not know you
and have no responsibility for you? How
does that do you a favor? How does that
help you? At this point you need to fall on
your sword. I dont understand whats so
hard about that.
Why was it so much worse to be shamed
by an attractive person? Somehow he felt he
could handle this critique from anyone else
in the world.
Just then the lights switched on in the
gymnasium and a hush fell. Frederick,
leader of the readiness workshop, walked
in with his wireless microphone. Everyone
watched him. He stood at center court,
tucked the microphone under his arm, and
started to clap methodically, as if he were
killing something between his hands. Soon
everyone was applauding, moving in close
to hear what Frederick would say. The drill,
apparently, was over.
He thumped his mic, said Hello, Hello,
and everyone fell silent. He was such a cock,
Edward thought. An impossible cock.
So, he said, in his quick, high voice.
Fair work tonight. Not terrible. We made
okay time. Maybe were a half hour slow,
and I dont need to tell you what that
means.
Boom! someone yelled from the crowd,
to an eruption of laughter.
Boom is right, replied Frederick. But
its not funny.
The laughter stopped.
YOUD WONDER ABOUT THE
POWER GRID, THE WATER
SUPPLY, THE FOOD SUPPLY. YOUD
DETERMINE, CORRECTLY, THAT
YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT
THESE THINGS.
We would have lost people. A certainty.
I would have faced a decision, a certainty,
even as some of you drove up in your cars.
Some of you wouldnt have made it. Youd
have watched us leave and, believe me, you
would not have been permitted to follow.
I wont spell that out. Youd be alone now
and it would be getting colder. Youd won-
der how much gas remained. Youd wonder
about the power grid, the water supply, the
food supply. Youd determine, correctly,
that you know nothing about these things.
Nothing. Youd need a leader. Or would
you? Maybe you could decide things as a
group. Youd start to quarrel. Youd divide.
It would get colder. This is supposed to be
the easy leg. We didnt even do the highway
drill tonight. Do you know how much time
well lose on the highway?
Too much! the crowd yelled.
Thats right. The highway is an ugly
variable. Theres a reason we have not
shared the details with you. The highway.
We cannot nd a way to speak of it that is
not disturbing. Whereas this Frederick
gestured into the gymnasium this you
can control, down to the second. Which
means Id like to see us shave off that half
hour. Maybe 45 minutes. We need breath-
ing room. We need to join our settlements
without panic, with time to kill. Next time
we do this I want time to kill. Tonight we
had no time to kill. And you know what?
Someone from far in the back of the gym
shouted, What?
Im disappointed, Frederick said. He shut
his eyes. The gymnasium seemed to groan.
But do you know what else? Frederick
asked, staring from his expressionless
face.
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36 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
Building cities worth building a future in.
Siemens answers help create sustainable cities places that are more lasting,
livable and prosperous.
siemens.com/answers
A_210x135_SIM=CC_13_10_69_Sustainable_Cities_Berlin_E.indd 1 16.09.13 12:22
No one responded.
Im proud as hell of you. Every single
one of you.
Except me, thought Edward. He was
pretty sure that Frederick wouldnt be
proud of him.
T
hey broke out in groups for the
critique and Edward sat in a circle
with his settlement. His parents,
because they werent meant to be part of
tonights drill, were dismissed. Since they
had no way to get home, they were probably
waiting for him outside.
The group leader for Edwards settle-
ment was Sharon, and she led them
through the discussion. Everything was
not well. Edward, she pointed out, had not
registered, even though he was here in
the gym. Explain that. Did he have trouble
nding them? Was something wrong with
Edward? Was he perhaps injured or con-
fused? A check at the medical tent and then
personal observation had conrmed that
Edward was ne. Edward didnt register
with his settlement because hed brought
outsiders with him, and these outsiders
had turned out to be a serious liability.
Its as though weve never discussed
anything. Its as though this workshop
never happened, said Sharon. We fought
the interests of the group. In real life this
might have turned unthinkable.
I hardly think . . . Edward started.
Hold up, Eddie, warned Thom. You
dont talk during your critique.
Whats a possible consequence for
Edward? said Marni.
Geoff jumped in. I think we should
do something humiliating to his parents.
Thats much more disturbing, because hed
have to see them get hurt. I think thats
a good punishment. The punishment
doesnt t the crime; it is the crime. I mean,
I dont want his parents to be seriously
harmed, necessarily, but theres nothing
worse than watching your parents, who are
defenseless, get hurt in some way.
Everyone laughed. Everyone except
Sharon, who glared at Edward.
Okay, guys, I get it, said Edward. If
theres ever a real crisis, Ill be sure only
to look out for myself. Dont worry, Ive
learned my lesson.
Unfortunately, Edward, this is not about
you learning a lesson, said Sharon. Im
glad your colleagues think its funny, but
this is about deterring others from sud-
denly deciding they can bring friends with
them on an evacuation.
My parents arent my friends, he said.
Theyre my parents. I thought theyd got-
ten a call, too. I didnt realize some people
didnt get called. Who here with parents
still alive wouldnt have done the same
thing?
Some hands went up. Yes, Liz? said
Sharon.
Me, said Liz, putting her arm down.
My parents are at home right now. It would
never have occurred to me to bring them
along.
It wouldnt have even occurred to her,
Edward thought? How do you get to that
place? He didnt even like his parents, but
he brought them along. Was that kind
of thinking out of date? Had everyone
evolved?
A few people echoed this. Theyd left
their parents behind.
Good for you, Edward thought. This
could easily have been the real thing.
Wasnt that the point, that you never knew?
You murderous fucks.
Does anyone think its strange, Edward
ventured, that our parents werent called
tonight?
Honestly, Edward, said Thom. This
is the second time youve spoken during
your critique. We shouldnt have to warn
you about this. You cant learn from what
happened tonight unless youre completely
silent now.
IT WOULDNT HAVE EVEN
OCCURRED TO HER, EDWARD
THOUGHT? HOW DO YOU GET TO
THAT PLACE? HE DIDNT EVEN LIKE
HIS PARENTS, BUT HE BROUGHT
THEM ALONG. WAS THAT KIND
OF THINKING OUT OF DATE? HAD
EVERYONE EVOLVED?
I thought that what I learn doesnt mat-
ter, Edward snapped. Isnt this about you
learning not to be like me?
No chance of that, said a young woman
on the opposite side of the circle, who
stared at Edward so deantly that he looked
away.
O
n Edwards way out, Frederick
broke from a mob of admirers and
grabbed his arm.
Edward, a word.
Hed never stood so close to Frederick,
never had a private audience with him. As
much as he disliked him, he couldnt deny
how compelling Frederick was. Impossibly
handsome, condent, with the gure of a
small gymnast. This was a person for the
future.
What you did tonight was arguably brave.
You demonstrated a priority for love and
loyalty. You protected two fragile people
who had no other savior, even though tech-
nically they were not in danger and would
have been much safer at home. Technically,
we may have decided that they were a
danger to you, and yet you went to them
anyway, endangering everyone else. You
made a choice, and on the individual level,
that choice was courageous and seless,
even if at the level of the group you risked
our entire operation. If those had been my
parents, may they rest in peace, and I didnt
have my years of training, and I also didnt
have sophisticated instincts and survival
habits, its possible I would have done the
exact same thing. In other words, if I were
you, and knew next to nothing about how to
keep people alive today, tomorrow, and the
next day, I might have brought my parents
here tonight as well. It is completely pos-
sible. Its precisely because I can relate,
however abstractly, to what you did that you
wont see any lenience from me. Not a trace.
On the contrary, you will meet great resis-
tance from me, and if you do anything like
that again, I promise I will hurt you. But I
want you to know, face-to-face, how much I
admire you.
When he got outside, his mother was
asleep in the car, his father leaning on the
door.
I bet youre expecting an apology from
me, said his father. Edward was tired. He
said that he wasnt, that he only wanted to
get home. He had a big day tomorrow.
Because I didnt do anything wrong,
his father continued.
I know that, Dad.
It doesnt really seem like you know it.
I do. I would like to go home now, thats
all.
Okay, go. Youre the one who screwed
up, anyway. We dont need your help. You
should be ashamed of yourself. Go straight
home. Your mother and I will walk.
Youre not going to walk.
Katherine! Katherine! his father shout-
ed into the car, banging on the window.
Wake up! We have to walk home. Eddie
refuses to drive us.
Dad, get in. Please. Im driving you
home. Dont worry.
Because we wouldnt want to put you
out.
Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 37
Building cities worth building a future in.
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T
hey waited in the line of cars rev-
ving to leave the high school parking
lot. Some people took these evening
drills hellish and deeply pointless as they
were as valuable social encounters. So
Edward and his parents sat in trafc his
mother asleep, his father grinding his
teeth while athletically attired settle-
ment leaders strolled up to cars and leaned
against drivers windows, chatting it out.
Running the drill backward, doing the blow
by blow, reliving the night because the cri-
sis protocol training was all they damn well
had in their lives.
Edward didnt dare honk. These glad-
handing semiprofessional tragedy consum-
ers would turn on him, attack the car, eat
his face. Or, worse, theyd stare at him and
start to hate him slightly more, if that were
possible.
His father, on the other hand, hadnt
noticed that they werent moving.
That Hannah is a Nazi cunt, his father
said.
Dad, you cant say things like that about
people.
Shes a Nazi cunt with a tiny cock.
Okay, Dad.
What, you dont agree? You dont like
her, either. Tell me you dont agree.
I dont agree. Shes in a tough position.
Shes just doing her job.
That set him off.
Just doing her job! Gandhi was just
doing his job.
Gandhi?
Not Gandhi, that other one. That other
one!
His father was in a rage.
Which other one? Hitler?
The one with the stick. With the blow-
torch that reaches across elds down into
bunkers. The one who had that huge set of
keys! Like a thousand keys on that goddamn
monstrous key chain. The one with the
small gun they have in the museum in D.C.
Mussolini? he guessed.
Fuck you! his father yelled. Goddamn
amateur!
Edward locked the doors of the car.
Im not sure I know who youre talking
about, Edward responded carefully, but I
know what you mean. You really dont like
Hannah. I get it.
Bullshit. You know exactly who Im talk-
ing about. You learned about him in school.
I remember you coming home one day
saying you wanted to be this motherfucker,
this dictator, for Halloween. Imagine how
your mother reacted to that.
His mother. If this had really happened,
how would she have reacted? She prob-
ably would have cheerfully gone along
with it, tting little Eddie with a large key
ring and a blowtorch, sending him off
into the neighborhood to gather candy. At
the moment, though, his mother had the
right idea. She was snoring softly in the
backseat.

Ben Marcus is a writer and profes-


sor of creative writing at Columbia
Universitys School of the Arts. He is
the Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellow
in Fiction at the American Academy
in fall 2013. This story is from his
forthcoming collection, Leaving the Sea
(Alfred A. Knopf, January 2014).
38 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
F
rancis Ponge, whose name
you will nd in any encyclopedia
as that of a French poet who was
born in Montpellier in 1899 and died in
1988, in the southern French village of
Bar-sur-Loup, never considered himself
a poet. In a series of interviews with the
writer Philippe Sollers, recorded in 1967
for French Radio (ortf), Ponge explained
his reluctance: I have rapidly [that is, since
the 1920s] been classied as a poet among
poets, despite my repeated declaration
that I didnt want to be counted among the
poets [. . .] that I had always been writing
in prose. For Ponge, being called a poet
was an effort by journalists, literary critics,
historians to, as he said, noyer le poisson.
This phrase literally means to drown
the sh, and it originates, unsurprisingly,
in the terminology of shermen. It refers to
the practice of pulling a hooked sh out of
the water, removing it from the snare, and
then thrusting it in and out of the water
repeatedly so as to exhaust it and, nally,
to kill the catch. In colloquial French, the
expression means to bewilder someone in
order to make them forget something. In
Ponges case, that something would have
been that he was writing and that he was
writing prose.
Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 39
Ponges insistence on writing in prose
instead of producing (and delivering)
poetry was an attempt to challenge the
status quo of language as the common tool
of communication and as the very condi-
tion of human political life. In the interview
with Sollers, Ponge says, I have chosen
this activity [of writing] not at all to form
poetic objects, but simply because I wanted
to enable myself to denounce [dnoncer,
here he plays off the word noncer to
enunciate] common language and to form,
or help to form, another.
The image of the sh on a hook may
help to understand what is at stake for
Ponge in his refusal of being confronted,
addressed, or portrayed as a poet, as well as
in his resolve as a writer, and writing in
prose to denounce common language.
The hook by which the sh is caught, which
draws the sh out of its natural element
and introduces it into a sphere the atmo-
sphere that nally proves deadly for the
sh, may be compared to the common use
of common language in that each word
resembles a hook that is meant to educate
and inform: to literally draw (in Latin,
educare) the mute animal or infans (Latin
for that which does not, or does not yet,
speak) out of its element and into the

HOW
(
NOT
)

TO FACE THE SUN
One Frenchmans bid to write
about the one object that allows
all other objects to exist.
By Thomas Schestag


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SOPHIE BASSOULS, FRENCH ESSAYIST AND POET FRANCIS PONGE, FEBRUARY 2, 1977. PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT
40 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
linguistic sphere of words. (Film and prose
practitioners even use the term the hook
for language that is specically aimed at
snagging the viewer or reader in order to
lure him in.)
That Ponge wants to denounce com-
mon language doesnt mean he wants
to simply destroy the commonplace and
common sense of human beings as social
animals. He balances it with the following
purpose: to form, or help to form, another
language, or another use of language. His
intent is thus nothing less than a radi-
cal reconsideration of our relationship to
language, not only as a common tool for
common ends but as a deadly weapon, an
instrument of expression and oppression,
of destruction and self-destruction one
that blurs the distinction between those
who catch (and kill) the sh and those who
are caught (by the very words they enunci-
ate). Both of them share the experience they
are forced to forget: the taste of words as
iron hooks in their mouths.
That same 1967 encounter with Philippe
Sollers was an occasion for Ponge to recall
the peculiar circumstances under which
he found himself approaching his task as
a writer in Paris in the early 1920s. He pro-
vides a slightly irritating and ironic portrait
of the artist as a young man:
In the apartment where I lived with
my mother [and sister] I had arranged
a little room that had been used as a
restroom before, with nothing but a
small table and a chair. This room was
without windows; I couldnt stay there
for a long time. I was there a little like
an anarchist, secretly doing his work.
Now, what about my weapons? Well, at
the wall I had xed an alphabet in big
letters; and under the table there was
my Littr [the major reference work
Dictionnaire de la langue franaise by
mile Littr, rst published in ve
volumes between 1863 and 1872]. I was
working to prepare my bomb with let-
ters and with words. Now, what was my
powder? Well, in a certain sense it was
the irrational. . . . This is how I worked.
In general I was working with my feet
on the table, so as not to work as they
work at school, in order to place myself
into an tat second [a state of trance]. . . .
Thus, I worked with the irrational that
came from the depths of my initial
impregnation, my childhood or child-
like impregnation, from the depths of
my body . . . what I am writing down is
some kind of trace of the deepest layer
inside myself, when facing a given word
or notion [ propos de telle ou telle notion].
Taking these preliminary remarks as a
background sitting in a windowless room,
secretly working, writing by diving into the
dark we can turn to one of Ponges early
notes on the sun, written over two decades
later, over the night of Saturday, June 3,
into the morning of Sunday, June 4, 1949.
Appropriately entitled Lnigme du Soleil
(The Riddle of the Sun), the note reads:
What is the most astonishing about
the sun, and what makes it almost
unspeakable [to speak it out and to
speak about it: indicible] is that it is at
once the condition sine qua non of all
existing things in the world and at the
same time one distinct object among
these objects. But which object? The
most brilliant among them all. Pay
attention! Brilliant up to a point. . . .
What did I just say: distinct? No! Rather
indistinct! Dazzling [the eyes] in such
a way that it does not allow itself, not
at all, to be looked at face to face: en
face. It forbids being looked at, not even
one glance, being observed. But what
did I say: dazzling? Yes dazzling / No,
and this is even more surprising! This
object, the condition sine qua non of all
the objects in the world, the poorest
among these objects, a simple leaf, an
eyelid is enough to hide [from] it.
What could turning your face into the
sun mean? What is entailed in approach-
ing the sun as one object or as one word
among others? But what could be less
surprising, more accurate, or even more
natural for Ponges more overarching
writing endeavor one that had long been
FRANCIS PONGE, DOSSIER LE SOLEIL, FOLDER I, SHEET 7 (MAY 25, 1949)


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Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 41
concerned with the description of natural
and articial things than facing the sun?
Indeed, how not to face the sun?
Remarkable in this note is the constant
shift of perspective. It isnt so much a sum
of different aspects, adding up to a quint-
essential point of view, as an interruption
of what has just been said, or written as if
it had been spoken. Yes, the sun is the all
embracing, god-like origin of everything in
the world the very condition of possibil-
ity. No: it is not just one thing; it is the most
brilliant of all things. The most brilliant,
yes, but it takes only a leaf, an eyelid, to take
shelter from it. On the manuscript page,
the sun is just one word among others,
but this one word does not simply designate
a phenomenon among others. Indeed it
names the very source of phenomenality.
The sun is the formal and indispensable
condition of (our) existence, of life and
death, Ponge writes. What is at stake in the
desire to approach the sun and to take its
side in nding an appropriate language is
no less than the task of addressing the very
condition of phenomenality and existence.
How is it possible to turn the sun, the con-
dition of the appearance of any object, into
the object of consideration?
S
ignificantly, it took Francis
Ponge more than half a lifetime age
fty to decide to take on the big ery
star. But when he did, his experiment yield-
ed the invention of what he considered to be
a new literary genre, which he called Objeu,
a contraction of the words objet (object)
and jeu (play), or, in English, ob-play.
This approach was suited to the constant
shift between phenomenon and source of
phenomenality, in the case of the sun, and
to the complicity between word and thing,
in the case of language. This requires that
the belief in given objects (both phenom-
enal and linguistic) be abandoned. In its
place, Ponge points to a less stable, more
playful relation between subject, medium,
and object of observation, or Objeu. The
readers response to the Objeu is not one
of frustration born of the instability of the
object under consideration but one of exu-
berant, joyful release that Ponge will come
to call Objoie (a contraction of the words
objet and joie, or, in English ob-joy.)
The place where this play all plays out
is on Ponges manuscript pages, some of
which you see here: investigations into key
questions about writing and reading, sen-
sual perception, the conditions of human
existence, and linguistic experience. This
compilation of notes about the sun would
come to be known as Le Soleil. It cov-
ers (not without interruptions) the period
spanning from July 1948 to May 1954, and
it would eventually lead to the publication
of a book, in December 1954, illustrated by
the French artist Jacques Hrold, entitled
Le Soleil plac en abme (The Sun Placed
into the Abyss).
Ponges dealings with the sun inevi-
tably meant that he had to face and engage
common language, or the common use of
language, provoked by the appearance and
re-appearance of the sun, which was, for
him, something of a myth. It stood at the
origin of a certain ubiquitous use of lan-
guage. But for what? And for what reason?
Human language, the language of, Ponge
writes, judges and actors, exploiting and
explaining all and everything, as spoken
throughout the day, in the light of the sun,
proceeds in sentences: sentencing and sen-
tenced. Every day, in light of this strange
insight (into sunlight) is literally sun-day,
Sunday, because every day ruled by the sun,
as Ponge so often and strongly indicates, is
also judgment day.
PONGES DEALINGS WITH THE
SUN INEVITABLY MEANT THAT
HE HAD TO FACE AND ENGAGE
COMMON LANGUAGE.
The link Ponge makes here between
the sun and jurisdiction, as puzzling
(even mad) as it may seem, has a long his-
tory. According to the oldest document of
Roman law, the Law of the Twelve Tables
(Duodecim Tabulae), from roughly 449 bce,
no juridical court was allowed to open
before dawn, and every court had to close at
dusk. This rule about how to rule juridical
affairs can now be found in every European
juridical code. The sun rules the law and
jurisdiction. Ponge then takes this insight
one step further: human language, under
the spell of sunlight, is rst and foremost
a sentencing language, the language
of judgment. In the light of day, human
beings act like judges, judging their own
and each others actions as prosecutors,
witnesses, defendants, and arbiters. Facing
the sun, seen in this light, is facing judg-
ment day.
But what happens at the moment when
the sun has not yet risen and the night is
no longer around? What happens after the
silence of night but before the bodies of the
judges and actors are awake? For Ponge, it
would be a moment where things, living or
inanimate, would appear as if for the rst
time. It is not a moment of speech but an
opening, a chance to open the mouth, to
not immediately be silenced by everyday
speech, to be about to speak, as if for the
rst time. It would be a moment not of is,
nor of longing for, but a moment of as if. It
is not, Ponge posits, a point in time, not a
nunc stans, but rather a break (at daybreak,
or, in German, bei Tagesanbruch). It would
be a ssure that opens in the heart of the
globes continuous revolutions, from dusk
till dawn and dawn till dusk.
O
ne of the reasons Ponge gave
up on trying to face the sun to
accuse it of its violent domination,
seducing and forcing speaking human
beings into a language of judgments, turn-
ing the lit earth into a courthouse, might
have been this: approaching the sun and
accusing it of being at the origin of the
all-embracing reign of a language proceed-
ing in sentences would only conrm its
unrestricted power by encouraging the use
of judgment by Ponge himself. To undo or
help to undo the language of judgments
would require a different approach. And
25 years later, he seems to have been ready
to resume the question of how (not) to face
the sun anew.
I will not attempt to summarize what
happens on the 225 manuscript pages of
Ponges dossier Le Soleil, but I do want
to highlight one of its most unique pages.
It was written on March 14, 1953, and it is
the only one showing a portrait of the sun
at daybreak, illustrating or illustrated by
a string of words. It is the second among
43 versions of almost the exact same text,
written in the course of four days and
nights, between March 14 and March 17,
1953. It reads as follows:
Le Soleil // Tous les jours, par dessus les
sommets du monde, monte une eur
fastigie. Sa splendeur efface sa tige,
qui, grimpant entre les deux yeux de la
trop troite nature pour en disjoindre le
front, est enracine dans nos curs.
A translation of this passage might read:
The Sun // Every day above the sum-
mits of the world rises a grown-up
ower. Its glare effacing its stem, which,
climbing between the two eyes of a too-
rigid nature, in order to disjoint its fore-
head, is rooted in our hearts.
42 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
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FRANCIS PONGE, DOSSIER LE SOLEIL, FOLDER VI, SHEET 6 (MARCH 14, 1953)


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Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 43
Why choose off-the-peg when
you can get tailored-to-t?
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y from Germany to a wide range of European destinations.
33
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BASIC FARE FROM
INCL. MILES
+ surcharge for checked baggage
* Fare per leg and person including miles. Limited seat availability. For payments other than by direct debit, surcharge applies. When checking in luggage, a surcharge applies. The General Conditions of Carriage also apply.
GW_AZ_Berlin_Journal_210x135_ofv2.indd 1 11.09.13 17:18
The drawing on the page is less a portrait
of the sun as a ower than of the sprawling
face of nature (its volcanic eyes wide open),
with the rising sun a ower placed on her
forehead. The sun-ower not only disturbs
the symmetry of natures face, it also effaces
its own stem, ultimately causing the face of
nature to go out of joint. The sun-owers
glare distracts from the fact that it has, ever
so slightly, taken root in a heart. And this
heart seems to be buried underground,
sous le sol, as one would say in French the
French word sol meaning ground, but also
echoing the Latin noun sol, for sun.
THE DRAWING ON THE PAGE IS
LESS A PORTRAIT OF THE SUN
AS A FLOWER THAN OF THE
SPRAWLING FACE OF NATURE (ITS
VOLCANIC EYES WIDE OPEN), WITH
THE RISING SUN A FLOWER
PLACED ON HER FOREHEAD.
One can also see the word, an epithet,
fastigie, which, in the sentence, condenses
the sun-owers strange essence. But this
word, as every word, does not simply con-
stitute a single linguistic entity. It is less a
given semiotic container for transporting
a stable semantic content and more like
a disintegrating echo-chamber. Higher
up on the same page Ponge works on this
echoing quality within and between words
when he places monde (world) and monte
(climbs) next to each other. In the case of
fastigie, he manages to arrange a similar
juxtaposition: just underneath fastigie you
see what the sun tries to hide or to wipe out:
sa tige (stem). The word fastigie grown
up is held up by its stem tige. But fas-
tigie is also supported by other French
words. The noun faste condenses what the
sun embodies: splendor, luxury, and royal
pomp. The word comes from the Latin
fastus, literally erect, and metaphorically
signies arrogance and pride. The sense of
being erect supports the Latin noun fastigi-
um summit and tree top from which
the French word fastigie derives.
But the initial faste also echoes another
word with different roots. It is the homo-
phone faste, a technical term originating
in Roman law. The French jours fastes, as
well as Latin diei fasti, indicate those days
in the Roman calendar when the court
was open for trial. Faste means judgment
day. The Latin fastus refers back to fas
justice or the juridical sphere, which in its
turn refers back to the Latin verb fari, or
to speak.
What is going on here? What is Ponge
doing to the epithet fastigie and thus to
the sun/owers essence? In a certain
sense, nothing. The word fastigie remains
untouched. But if you take a closer look,
youll see that this word fastigie holds all
attributes Ponge had associated with the
sun so many years earlier: splendor, speech,
law, jurisdiction, judgment. Fastigie does
not simply contain and sum up the scale
of the suns meanings. The word fastigie
remains unable to recollect all of these
related yet disparate meanings, allusions,
and semantic echoes reverberating around
its distinct particles and syllables. It breaks
apart.
Thomas Schestag, the John P.
Birkelund Fellow in fall 2013, is a
scholar of German and comparative
literature. He will be an associate pro-
fessor of German at Brown University
beginning in January 2014.
44 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
TWO
POEMS
By Susan Stewart
Atavistic Sonnet
Shadow of the gull on the airport wall, lunging
as the fuselage vaults above the meadow. Hollow in
the cornrow where the hobo slept, then a back-hoe
lling up the furrow. Misery of clocks in neon
glare, whereabouts of warblers and island foxes,
an old ame googled from the dead letter ofce, simple
as the still-warm bench at dusk. Typing or sewing,
or bringing down a fever through a length of knotted string
and a rusted staple gun. Here comes the tattooed
witch with her drum while the royals wait by the limousine
grinning. Shadow of the gull on the airport wall,
shallows in the stairs where we fell and stepped, hollow in the
cornrow where the hobo slept, a back-hoe lling the furrow.
Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 45
The Owl
I thought somehow a piece of cloth was tossed
into the night, a piece of cloth that ew
up, then across, beyond the window.
A tablecloth or handkerchief, a knot
somehow unfolding, folded, pushing through
the thickness of the dark. I thought somehow
a piece of cloth was lost beyond the line
released, although it seemed as if a knot
still hung, unfolding. Some human hand could not
have thrown that high, or lent such force to cloth,
and yet I knew no god would mind a square
of air so small. And still it moved and still
it swooped and disappeared beyond the pane.
The after-image went, a blot beyond
the icy glass. And, closer, there stood winter
grass so black it had no substance
until I looked again and saw it tipped
with brittle frost. An acre there (a common-
place), a line of trees, a line of stars.
So look it up: youll nd that you could lose
your sense of depth,
a leaf, a sheaf
of paper, pillow-
case, or heart-
shaped face,
a shrieking hiss,
like winds, like
death, all tangled
there in branches.
I called this poem the owl,
the name that, like a key, locked out the dark
and later let me close my book and sleep
a winter dream. And yet the truth remains
that I cant know just what I saw, and if
it comes each night, each dream, each star, or not
at all. Its not, its never, evident
that waiting has no reason. The circuit of the world
belies the chaos of its forms(the kind
of thing astronomers
look down to write
in books).
And still I thought a piece of cloth
had own outside my window, or human hands
had freed a wing, or churning gods revealed
themselves, or, greater news, a northern owl,
a snowy owl descended.
Susan Stewart is the Avalon Foundation University Professor
in the Humanities at Princeton University and will be a
spring 2014 Fellow. The Owl is from her book Red Rover
(University of Chicago Press, 2008).
46 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
GA L E R I E B A S S E NGE E R DE N E R S T R A S S E 5 A 14193 B E R L I N - GRU N E WA L D
Phone: +49 (0)30 8 93 80 29-0 Fax: +49 (0)30 8 91 80 25 E-Mail: art@bassenge.com Catalogues: www.bassenge.com
B A S S E N G E
A R T - , B O O K - & P H O T O G R A P H Y A U C T I O N S
NOVEMBER 2830, 2013
Old Master and 19th Century Paintings,
Drawings & Prints

Modern and Contemporary Art
DECEMBER 4, 2013
19th 21st Century Photographs and Photobooks
Auctions in Berlin
Roberto Burle Marx. Untitled.
Acrylic on canvas. 121 x 156 cm. Signed and dated. 1992.


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THE DREAMERS
By Bill Viola
Fall 2013 | Number Twenty-Five | The Berlin Journal | 47
Print and more.
www.ruksaldruck.de
Better is the enemy of good.
Voltaire
Video artist Bill Violas lm sequences The Dreamers (2013) were
exhibited this past summer at Blain | Southern Gallery in London.
The work consists of seven individual high-denition color screens
mounted vertically on the walls of a darkened room (6.5 6.5
3.5 meters), accompanied by the sounds of trickling water played in
four-channel stereo.
48 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
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In this issue:
Lisa Anderson
Huma Bhabha
Harold Hongju Koh
Heidi Julavits
Ben Marcus
Andrew J. Nathan
Dietrich Neumann
Wolf Schfer
Thomas Schestag
Susan Stewart
Tara Zahra
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A Magazine from the American Academy in Berlin | Number Twenty-Five | Fall 2013
THE BERLIN JOURNAL
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fr The Berlin Journal (Ausgabe Herbst 2013)
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