VIEWSrnWith the Nietzscheans of Naumburgrnby Curtis GaternThe old cathedral town of Naumburg, where FriedrichrnNietzsche spent 12 of the first 18 and seven of the last tenrnyears of his life, is located in the southeastern corner of thernLand (province) of Sachsen-Anhalt, roughly halfway betweenrnWeimar and Leipzig. In late April and eady May of 1945, thisrnpart of Germany was overrun by the fast-moving tanks of GeneralrnPatton’s Third Army. But the relief that many Saxons andrnThuringians may have felt at being “liberated” from thernHitlerian yoke was short-lived; for two months later this entirernarea was evacuated by U.S. Army forces (against the advice ofrnWinston Churchill), in accordance with the demarcation linesrnthat had been proposed in London in 1944 and agreed to at thernYalta Conference of February 1945. Stalin and his goateedrnlackey, Walter Ulbricht, were thus able to impose their ownrntotalitarian tyranny: one the hapless inhabitants of Mitteldeutschlandrnwere forced to endure for the next 44 years—rnwhich is to say, more than three times as long as the duration ofrnthe Nazi nightmare.rnThis helps to explain the “disturbingly high” percentage ofrnvotes (varying from 15 percent to 37 percent in different constituencies)rncast by the inhabitants of the former DDR for thernneocommunist PDS during the 1994 pariiamentary elections.rnThis was not, in my opinion, so much a vote in favor of the former,rnfar-from-loved regime, as it was a vote of protest againstrnthe luckier and more prosperous West Germans, guilty, like thernWest in general, of having over the past five years “neglected” arnpopulation that had previously been left to fend for itself forrnCurtis Gate is a historian living in Paris.rnmore than four decades.rnIn August 1994, at a time when those parliamentaryrnelections were no more than a tiny cloud on my horizon, I happenedrnto read in a Swiss newspaper that more than 100 philosophersrnand philologists from various countries were preparing tornconverge on Naumburg to commemorate the 150th anniversaryrnof Friedrich Nietzsche’s birth (October 15, 1844). Thatrnthis was going to tax the tourist facilities of a small provincialrntown of 30,000 souls did not ovedy surprise me. But what I hadrnnot anticipated was how difficult it would be to reach Naumburgrnfor a Parisian not affluent enough to travel by air or car. Irnwould have to take a night train as far as Magdeburg (a merern100 kilometers southwest of Berlin), then head south towardrnthe university town of Halle, and finally climb into a third trainrnbound for the valley of the Saale. All went well as far as Halle.rnBut there, after a chilling 40-minute wait on the still-mistshroudedrnplatform, we were informed over the loudspeakerrnthat the “express” train we were waiting for had suffered an “accident.”rnI am grateful, nonetheless, for the inconvenience thusrncaused. For in the Bummelzug (local), which made a dozenrnstops along the way, I had ample time to notice the run-downrnsheds, the broken window panes, the scrofulous brick wallsrnfrom which the yellow-grey stucco was peeling away in scabs,rnand even the weeds sprouting between rusting railway tracks inrnstation after station—lamentable symptoms of the disrepairrninto which Erich Honecker and his communist comrades hadrnallowed the East German railway system (like that of Brezhnev’srnSoviet IJnion) to slide.rnTo the left, as we approached the old cathedral town, andrn12/CHRONICLESrnrnrn