that had as its purpose the dissolutionnof all the old social and politicalnbonds. (Here he follows rather closelynHermann Rauschning’s still unrivalednanalysis in The Revolution ofnNihilism.) .nKay Heriot subscribes to thenRauschning/Overy view of Nazism asna revolutionary movement that hadnnothing whatever in common with thenconservatism of which she is an impassionedndefender. In her judgment, Nazismnwas the nihilistic consequence ofna long chain of events set in motion bynthe Committee of Public Safety’snReign of Terror. It was by its verynnature the implacable foe of all thosenwho cherished the moral and aesthehcntraditions of the West. That, finally, isnthe burden of her new novel, althoughnone might also read it as an extendednand moving meditation on friendship.nThe scene is Germany in the laten1930’s. In their determination to discreditnan uncooperative aristocraticnfamily, the Nazis spread a slanderousnrumor to the effect that the family’snonly son and his best friend are homosexualn”lovers.” The terrible sufferingnthat this calumny produces constitutesnthe svmbol and measure of the re­n121 CHRONICLES OF CULTUREngime’s radical evil. Although Heriotnsometimes gives in to sentimentality,nshe offers numerous insights and worthynjudgments concerning a widenrange of topics, moral and aesthetic.nAbove all else, though, she is concernednto hold up the young friends asnrepresentatives of the “Other Germany,”nthat of Goethe and Schiller, ofnBach and Beethoven, and of thosenconservative heroes and martyrs whonresisted and finallv attempted to killnHitler on 20 July 1944—Stauflfenberg,nMoltke, Trott zu Solz, and the giftednLutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer,nIt is to their memory that this Germanbornnwriter has dedicated her book.nNo wonder, then, that one of hernprotagonists joins the resistance andnfalls ‘ictim to Hider’s sadistic revenge.nBy their suffering and sacrifice, Heriotnwants us to understand, he and thosenlike him redeemed Germany. We arenreminded of the question that Abrahamnput to God concerning Sodom:n”Peradventure ten [righteous men]nshall be found there?” And God said,n”I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.”nBut if it is true that the suffering ofnsome can redeem the sin of the many,nis it not also true that the sin of some isnIn the forthcoming issue ot Chronicles of Culture:nCounting the Waysn”The greatest crime the intellectual can be thought guiltynof is that of treating the past \ ith respect, of ‘romanticizingnthe past’ as conention and cant usualh hac it.nNostalgia, which is the rirst of memory, is permittednbecause it sells well; but not historw Hence, as ceronenknows, the scuttling of curriculum in the schools bunderminingnthe stud of histor. Necr would the NEAn’turn the clock back,’ as tiic} loc to sa.”n—from “The Most Unbelievable Thing”nbv Robert NisbetnJohn S. Reed tallies the pluses and minusesnof polls and sur eysnClyde Wilson discovers a new Tocquevillenrediscovering AmericanBryce Christensen looks at the beginning of the universe,nwhile Stephen Tanner maps out the end of the worldnnnthe burden of all? Heriot’s novel isntasematmg not least because it raisesnanew a particularly complex and awesomenquestion —that of corporatenguilt. “You feel responsible,” one ofnthe friends says. “What is happeningnhere is our tragedy, and ultimatelv ournguilt.” That this conviction of collectivenresponsibility is deeply experienced,nwe are not left in any doubt.nBut why should this be so? It seems,nafter all, to contradict the tradition ofnWestern individualism that owes sonmuch to the Protestant spirit.nHowever problematic the issue remains,nit continues to haunt the pagesnof almost every study of Nazi Germany.nAlthough, as we have seen. Turnerndefends the men of German big businessnagainst the false charges that havenbeen leveled at them, he does notnexonerate them of all responsibility.nMost, he observes, “viewed Nazismnmyopically and opportunistically.”nConcerned with little beond narrownself-interest, “most failed to perceiventhe threat [the NSDAP] posed to thenvery foundations of civilized life.” Innthis, they differed little from mostnmembers of the country’s elite. For hisnpart, Overy is reluctant to point annaccusing finger at Germans who werennot Nazis, but he cannot and does notndisguise their sometimes shockingncomplicity.nThat being said, the question remains:nDo all Germans share somehownin the Nazi guilt? The answer, Inbelieve, must be a properly qualifiednyes, for our destiny—indeed our verynbeing — is inextricably intertwinednwith that of others: family, countrymen,nand, in the last analysis, allnmen. In Adam, all men die, the NewnTestament teaches us. That does notnmean, of course, that every German,nmuch less every human being, mustnshoulder legal responsibility for Nazincrimes, but it does mean that no one isncompletely free of the contagion. Allnof us participate in the sins of ournfathers and of our country, just as wenshare in their achievements and triumphs.nIf this seems unbearable andnunjust, we need only recall St. Paul’sncomforting words: “For as in Adam allndie, even so in Christ shall all be madenalive” (I Corinthians 15:22). This, perhaps,nis one of the Third Reich’sndeepest meanings. ccn