Burkhardt Huck

Personal History

Alienation = Entfremdung?

What a pleasure: my academic teacher left more analog audiovisual footprints documenting the brilliant way of thinking he developed during his time as a member of and afterwards.

Listening Herbert Marcuse is like hearing my grandfathers untold story

What a pleasure hearing my teacher’s voice on Youtube. Have never seen him before, but read all his books when I studied Political Science, Philosophy and History at Munich University in the late sixties, when his books reached Germany in German translation. The interview is from 1976 and I am glad to hear that he included environment as an issue of gobal importance.

How I learned about the killing fields my parents lived in without knowing about

When I started my studies at Munich University autumn 1967 I was very attracted by the lectures of Dr. Jürgen Gebhardt, an young assistent of professor Eric Voegelin who in 1938 emigrated to the United States but later was invited to return to Germany: 1958 he accepted an offer by Munich‘s Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität to fill Max Weber‘s former chair in political science, which had been unoccupied since Weber’s death in 1920. In Munich he founded the Institut für Politische Wissenschaft.

Gebhardt lectures focused on The Origins of Totalitarianism, published in 1951, Hannah Arendt‘s first major work, wherein she describes and analyzes Nazism and Stalinism, the major totalitarian political movements of the first half of the 20th century. Later I even read her report Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, published as paperback in German language 1965. Arendt was anxious to test her theories, developed in The Origins of Totalitarianism, and to see how justice would be administered to the sort of man she had written about.

It was not a secret that my teacher’s father, Karl Gebhardt was a German medical doctor and a war criminal during World War II, and sentenced to death in June 1948. He served as Medical Superintendent of the Hohenlychen Sanatorium, Consulting Surgeon of the Waffen-SS, Chief Surgeon in the Staff of the Reich Physician SS and Police, and personal physician to Heinrich Himmler. Only few people knew about, but when I heard about I understood why he captured my attention more than any of my teachers did.
What a gratification to hear Hannah Arendts voice fifty years later.

 

Jugendbücher: “1984” und “Schöne neue Welt”

Mitte der sechziger entdeckte ich George Orwells “1984” in Otto’s Bücherregal und hab es in drei Nächten gelesen. Eine bedrückende Liebesgeschichte, die in einem totalitären System böse endet. Zeitgleich endet Belmondo in dem Godard Film “Außer Atem” von einen Schuß getroffen auf einer Straße in Paris. Ich fühlte mich damals als  Existentialist und verhielt mich auch so. Ich trat mit 18 Jahren aus der katholische Kirche aus, was damals nicht einfach war und konnte von da an sündenfrei lesen. Die “Schöne neue Welt” von Aldous Huyley gehörte zu den Büchern, die meine Skepsis gegenüber  den Wohltaten des wissenschaftlich-technischen Fortschritts bestärkten.

Die Geschichte Bayerns ist größer als seine Bedeutung

Zweiundzwanzig Monate vor meiner Geburt sah es in meiner neuen Heimat so aus: