von by Vanessa Conze Original aufOriginal in German, angezeigt aufdisplayed in English
PublishedErschienen: 2017-02-02
    Print Drucken PDF E-mailE-mail XML MetadataXML Metadaten   

    The term Abendland (Occident) refers to a primarily German discussion about Europe, which was particularly active from the end of the First World War to the early 1960s. A Catholic Christian conservatism formed as a "hegemonic integrative ideology" in two waves, in the interwar period and in the 1950s. However, to fully understand the primarily diachronic transfer of ideas involved in the development of the concept, it is necessary to consider the "Third Reich" period, during which many exponents of a Catholic idea of Europe came around to National Socialist ideas and concepts of order.

    InhaltsverzeichnisTable of Contents

    The Emergence of the Concept of Abendland in Romanticism

    The term "Abendland"1 emerged in the 16th century in the context of the Renaissance, humanism and the Reformation as the opposing term to the ideal of the and to Martin Luther's (1483–1546) concept of the Morgenland (New Testament 1522). The term "" appeared first in German in 1529 as a calque ("Abendlender") of the term "Occident" in Caspar Hedio's (1494–1552) Chronica. While the term was initially a purely geographical term referring to , it acquired an increasing amount of cultural connotations.

    The present-day understanding of the term developed during the period of romanticism.2 A specifically German tradition emerged during this period, in which the topos of Abendland – which has been described in academic literature as a "Kampfbegriff"3 (combative term) with some justification – at times became very ideologically loaded. From that point on, Abendland referred to the community of European peoples which had emerged from classical antiquity and was formed by Christianity during the medieval period. This cultural definition of Abendland gave the term a static aspect – it is a "durch die Geschichte festgelegter, deshalb nicht wie Europa zum Wachsen befähigter Raum".4

    The term implies a conscious differentiation with regard to the non-Christian "East", a theme which runs through the entire history of the term Abendland up to the 20th century. The reference to the medieval period as the "golden age" of the Occident and as a "Vorbild für die eigene Gegenwart"5 (model for the present) was also a central aspect. This reference to the period before the Reformation explains why the Abendland concept was closely connected with calls for a re-Catholicization during the 19th and 20th century, and why it consequently remained an almost exclusively Catholic project.6

    The Abendland Idea after the First World War

    The First World War and its conclusion led to the second great wave of discussion about the Abendland after the period of romanticism. Heinz Gollwitzer (1917–1999) even refers to this wave as the actual "breakthrough" of the concept.7 The enormous influence of Oswald Spengler's (1880–1936) Untergang des AbendlandesDer Untergang des Abendlandes Titelblatt IMG, which became one of the central interpretative frameworks of the young Weimar Republic, clearly contributed to this.8 However, it was specifically the strongly culturally pessimistic tone of the work that challenged critics.

    These included Catholics who laid claim to the concept of Abendland. They interpreted the outcome of the war as the collapse of Prussian Protestant society and its principles of order, and as an opportunity "Katholizismus als Vision einer besseren Zukunft vorzuführen".9 It was felt that the concept of Abendland could become a central principle in efforts towards political, social and cultural renewal.

    Thus, a core group can be identified around the publication Abendland, who represented the idea of the Abendland in an exemplary way and on whom the "Abendländische Bewegung" (Abendland movement) could draw – both in terms of personnel and content – after the end of the Second World War. The publication Abendland. Deutsche Monatshefte für europäische Kultur, Politik und Wirtschaft – to give it its full title – was established in October 1925 by Hermann Platz (1880–1945), a Romance scholar and France expert at University. In the context of the French occupation of the , he developed the concept of Occidental cooperation, which he argued should take its origins from the Rhineland10 as the historical "core of the Abendland".11

    Under its editor Friedrich Schreyvogl (1899–1976), the publication Abendland was directed at an academic Catholic readership. A whole host of prominent Catholics in Weimar Germany participated in its development either as members of the editorial board or contributors. A number of French authors also became involved subsequently.12 In the early years, the publication primarily devoted itself to exploring the meanings of the Abendland concept, which was intended to signify much more than a political and economic rapprochement between the European states. "Das Abendland ist nicht ein beliebiger politischer Einfall, sondern die letzte reife Frucht, die vom Baume der christlichen Erkenntnis als endgültige Formel für das Leben in der Gemeinschaft fällt."13 The glorification of the medieval period as "der von Gott gewollten Verwirklichung des großen Gedankens der civitas Dei" played a central role.14 According to this thinking, it was the dissolution of this "organic", "God-ordained" order through the Reformation, the Enlightenment and nationalism which had made the First World War possible in the first place – a mode of explanation which emerged in identical form after the Second World War. The aim should therefore be to go beyond nationalistic prejudices to another "Geist" (spirit), which would ultimately make other political realities possible. The fact that this repeatedly evoked "Occidental spirit" would be the spirit of Catholic Christianity – which implied a need for a re-Christianization or re-Catholicization – gave the publication Abendland a highly idealistic and romantic tone.

    In the latter years of the publication, articles providing more concrete information became more prevalent. By reporting on political events in , and the rest of Europe, the Abendland circle attempted to participate in a positive way in debates about reconciliation efforts and to support the policies of Gustav Stresemann (1878–1929). Of course, this did not include ideas about the future political configuration of Europe. The central focus was not on political integration, but on reconciliation between nations which viewed each other as equals. In this way, the Abendland publication generally propounded a concept of reconciliation which was typical for the 1920s. Reconciliation was understood primarily as a cultural encounter between national elites. The Abendland circle wanted to educate its readers about Germany's western neighbour and in the process to also "Trennende[s] bewusst werden als Zweck und Ziel von Völkerverständigung".15

    However, this central focus on promoting reconciliation by the proponents of the Abendland concept became increasingly shaky in the late 1920s, particularly in view of the fact that the Rhineland issue remained unresolved. Scepticism spread and an increasing number of Abendland contributors came to view the differences between Germany and its neighbour as insoluble. The enthusiasm for Occidental reconciliation was on the wane. Economic problems also contributed to this trend, and Abendland ceased publication in 1930.

    The Abendland Idea between 1930 and 1945

    The "seizure of power" in 1933 brought a definitive end to the first great blossoming of the Abendland idea. A second wave of enthusiasm for the idea did not emerge until after the end of the Second World War. It is harder to identify traces of the Abendland idea in the period between 1930 and 1945. While the "Abendland" topos became less common in public discourse in the years of National Socialism, the term did not disappear completely. It became a buzzword in National Socialist propaganda particularly in the latter years of the war, but it also featured in the conservative resistance movement and was pushed out into the literary "margins". It is thus difficult to make general statements about the history of the concept in this period.

    A look at the carrier groups and protagonists of the Abendland idea who we encounter (again) in the "Abendland movement" after 1945 shows that the spectrum of behaviour under National Socialism was broad even among proponents of the Abendland idea. Exile, "inner emigration", resistance, but also in numerous cases collaboration and ideological closeness to the regime – all of these responses to the National Socialist dictatorship were represented.16

    The ground was prepared for a possible convergence with National Socialism in the years between 1930 and 1933. After Abendland had ceased publication, many of its former contributors increasingly turned to publications aligned with the so-called "conservative revolution" and employed "Mitteleuropa" and the "Reich" as central ideological concepts.17 These two concepts exerted an increasing attraction – also among proponents of the Abendland idea. In the early 1930s, these concepts became something of a "Plattform grundsätzlichen Einverständnisses" (basis of fundamental consensus) among conservatives.18 The terms "Abendland" and "Reich" were increasingly used synonymously. In their Catholic variants, both of these concepts referred to a romanticized past; both were associated with "organic" societies; and both concepts were supra-national in scope, envisaging order being imposed on by Germany and the Germans. Through the influence of Othmar Spann (1878–1950), topics such as "Volk" (nation) and "Rasse" (race) entered the thinking of these "abendländischen Reichsvisionäre" (Abendland visionaries of the Reich). Thus a path was entered, on which gradually "der universalistische Reichs-Gedanke des Mittealters … neben einen ebenso universalistischen Reichs-Gedanken trat, der jedoch seiner christlichen Normierung beraubt war und an ihre Stelle die Idee des deutschen Volkes gesetzt hatte."19

    However, the trend from the beginning of the 1930s, beginning with the demise of the Abendland publication, was not only a shift in ideas. There were also organizational changes in the "Abendland movement". In particular, there was a shift in the geographical centre of the movement. The Abendland idea lost its strong roots in the Rhineland, and proponents of the idea became more numerous in other regions with substantial Catholic populations. From the early 1930s, it enjoyed increasing support in , where vibrant Abendland discussions occurred, and not only in the "greater German" (großdeutsch) sense. Developing the idea of an Austria Christian, estate-based model of state, there were increasing attempts under the government of Engelbert Dollfuß (1892–1934) to depict Austria as a "Zelle zur Gesundung für das ganze Abendland" (cell for the recuperation of the entire Occident). Clearly distancing themselves from National Socialism and "greater German" ambitions in Germany, Abendland circles in Austria sought to strengthen an independent Austrian identity distinct from , claiming that Austria was "[von der] Vorsehung zum christlichen Bollwerk gegen den Bolschewismus und Nationalsozialismus, zur Rettung des wahren Deutschtums und der ganzen abendländischen Kultur ausersehen".20 In this context, both the Mitteleuropa concept and ideas which sought to legitimize a restoration of the assumed greater significance in Abendland thought. Both of these elements were to play a large role in Abendland thought in West Germany after 1945 – due in no small part to the contributions of many of the same people.21

    The case of Austria in particular demonstrates how diverse the conclusions were that people drew from the similar ideological basis of Abendland Catholicism in the face of National Socialism. While the Abendländer (proponents of the Abendland idea) in Austria rejected National Socialism and numerous emigrants from Germany contributed to their publications, many "Reich visionaries" in Germany turned towards National Socialism. Due to a number of terminological similarities – such as "Reich" and "Mitteleuropa" – some right-wing Catholic associations (for example, the Association of Catholic Academics) sought to establish closer links with National Socialism.22 Up to 1939, the representatives of these associations were unable and unwilling to recognize that National Socialist expansionary ambitions went far beyond the ambitions which the idea of the "Reich" had implied during the Weimar Republic. The "transmission belt" of the "Reich" concept ultimately brought the Abendland idea into close discursive proximity with the concepts of Großraum (great space) and of the Neue Ordnung (new order) of Europe in the early years of the war, and thus close to the central ideas of order and hegemony of National Socialism. The military successes of the first years of the war caused some Abendländer to view Mitteleuropa as being no longer large enough as a German sphere of influence. The medieval period and the again played a particularly significant role in these thought processes. German eastward migration during the medieval period helped to legitimize the invasion of Germany's eastern neighbours, and propagandistic discussions of Germany as a "bulwark" against the East also convinced some supporters of the Abendland idea.

    In addition to the "Reich" concept, antipathy towards communism constituted the most important connection between the Abendland idea and National Socialism. From 1941 onward, anti-communism was a central aspect of National Socialist propaganda, a trend which also saw the Abendland concept playing an increasingly significant role in National Socialist propaganda. While the Abendland had previously been more or less synonymous with the "Reich", a conceptual connection now emerged with the idea of the "antikommunistische Abwehrfront" (defensive front against communism) which made the transition to the post-war period and adapting to the changed global political situation considerably easier for some conservatives that it would otherwise have been. Importantly, this model of thought was also acceptable to those who – unlike the many who had adapted to life under the National Socialists – had spent the period of the Third Reich in exile. Anti-communism was thus one of the most important integrative elements for the history of the Abendland idea after 1945Wahlplakat der CDU zur hessischen Landtagswahl 1946 IMG.

    The Abendland Idea after the Second World War

    The subtle ideological links between the Abendland idea and the "Reich" and National Socialism were no longer mentioned after the Second World War. Instead, the second great blossoming of the Abendland idea occurred.23 In the context of the intellectual reorientation in the aftermath of the collapse of National Socialism, in the absence of suitable alternatives and due to generation-specific attitudes, German society reverted to concepts of order which came from the Weimar Republic and which were not suspected of having a "brown tinge".24 This also applies to ideas about Europe. Terms such as "Reich" and "Mitteleuropa" had finally lost their legitimacy. The Abendland presented itself as an alternative as it appeared to be "unverbraucht, nicht diskreditiert wie Nation und Vaterland".25 This reliance on a Catholic concept was further strengthened by a general need for a Christian orientation at a time in which the Catholic church in particular appeared as an institution which had supposedly not been tarnished by association with National Socialism, and thus enjoyed a high level of acceptance.26

    The publication Neues Abendland: Zeitschrift für Politik, Kultur und Geschichte exemplifies the Abendland discourse which developed after 1945. Founded in 1946 by the Catholic publicist Johann Wilhelm Naumann (1897–1956),27 it was established in the context of the blossoming of the print-media landscape in the immediate postwar period. Many of the authors who had contributed to the Abendland publication of the Weimar Republic now wrote articles for the Neues Abendland.28 Particularly in the first two years of publication, they gave the new publication a profile similar to that of the Abendland of the mid-1920s.

    Again, the focus was on fundamental questions regarding the "abendländische Kultureinheit" (Abendland as a single cultural entity), the renewal of a Christian, supranational community, and the revival of, and reorientation towards, basis Christian (Catholic) values. The articles did not deal with concrete political concepts regarding the unification of Europe or the political reintegration of Germany into the community of European states. However, discussion of the "Abendland" and the attendant emphasis on the shared cultural values of the European peoples nonetheless offered justification for Germany's claim to a place in the "abendländische Gemeinschaft" (Abendland community).

    As in the 1920s, reference was made in this argumentation to the medieval "Sacrum Imperium". The medieval Christian cultural unity of the Abendland constituted a retrospective utopia. As in the 1920s, this evocation of the medieval period was an attempt to conjure up a period in which a God-ordained order of state and society had supposedly been achieved.29

    Just as in the aftermath of the First World War, the catastrophe of the Second World War was explained after 1945 solely in terms of a teleological argument, according to which the Enlightenment, secularisation and the French Revolution had destroyed30 the "wunderbar wohlgefügten Kosmos der abendländischen Universitas".31 According to this argumentation, all of the catastrophes of the 20th century were unavoidable because they were caused by humans turning away from God and from the divinely ordained social order, as well as by individualism and nationalism. Only a thorough re-Christianization, a reversion to the religious foundations of the "im Reiche Christi versammelten Völkerfamilien"32 could remedy this, it was argued. "Mit dem christlichen Glauben allein kann Europa wieder auferstehen" – this conviction was at the core of Abendland thought.33

    In the late 1940s, the Neues Abendland did not discuss political arguments in the narrower sense. However, this changed around 1950 for two reasons. Firstly, the new editor-in-chief Emil Franzel (1901–1976) took the Neues Abendland in a new, more political direction – a development which subsequently continued under Gerhard Kroll.34 Around the same time, the organizational structure of the Abendland circle began to expand beyond the publication of a periodical. Various sub-organizations emerged, such as Abendländische Aktion, the Centre Européen de Documentation et Information/Europäisches Dokumentations- und Informationszentrum (CEDI) and the Abendländische Akademie. In the early 1950s, these organizations held numerous conferences and lectures which were attended primarily by members of the conservative, predominantly Catholic, politically-engaged public of the new Federal Republic.35 In some cases, these events were attended by several hundred people. The governing boards of these organizations featured a whole host of Christian Democratic (CDU and CSU) politicians, as well as a considerable number of titled aristocrats and clergy.36 Abendland thought also exerted influence beyond West Germany. Primarily in the context of the CEDI, the German Abendländer met a number of times each year with conservatives from other western European countries, primarily Austria, France and , to develop with them a European idea of the Abendland.37

    Secondly, the "outbreak" of the Cold War led to a marked politicization, including within the publication Neues Abendland. Clear positions were now adopted in relation to the Cold War, to the question of links with western countries, to European unification, and to the political system of West Germany. During this process, anti-communism became a more central aspect of the Abendland idea than it had ever previously been. Along with the reference to Christianity, anti-communism became the intellectual foundation of the "Abendland movement". Articles repeatedly stated that the Cold War presented a fundamental choice between freedom and enslavement, between the Occidental Christian approach to life and atheism. The contributors to the Neues Abendland viewed as dangerous the fact that the East acted as a unified ideological system, while the West had nothing with which to oppose this system because it had turned away Christian values. In this way, the perception of a "fight on two fronts" developed: the outward struggle against the threat of a totalitarian model of thought and the military threat of the Cold War, and the inner struggle against "liberal arbitrariness".38

    This militant anti-communism meant that by the end of the 1940s the publication was already clearly arguing in favour of West Germany linking itself to the West, as "die Fortdauer des Kalten Krieges" represents "für Deutschland als Niemandsland zwischen den Fronten eine ungeheure Gefahr".39 This included a categorical call for military strength and a nuclear deterent40 as well as the early recognition of the "Unvermeidlichkeit der Teilung Deutschlands".41 Not surprisingly, this link with the West (Westbindung) did not preclude a traditional, conservative, critical attitude towards the American "lifestyle".42 For the Abendländer, both "East" and "West" represented "un-Christian ideas", and to them it was clear "dass der Christ … sich weder für den 'Westen' noch für den 'Osten' entscheiden kann".43 In academic research, this attitude has been aptly described as a "Drahtseilakt zwischen Westoption und Antiliberalismus".44

    For the contributors to the Neues Abendland, European integration was another defensive measure against the eastern threat – just like all references to Christian, Catholic cultural unity. However, the concrete steps towards European integration elicited scepticism – in view of the "Formaldemokratie"45 (mechanical democracy) and the "Reißbrett-Union"46 (contrived union). The Abendländer increasingly presented their own concepts in opposition to it. Rejecting the social contract, parliamentarianism and supranational elements, they argued in favour of a hierarchical society with a recognisable authority. In doing this, they pointed to the political systems of the as a model. The autocratic systems of Spain and appeared to represent exactly what the Abendland circle meant when they referred to a "natural" order: a hierarchical societal structure in which everyone had "his" place; no "mass democracy" but elitist leadership by a charismatic leader who would push back party interests and lobbyism; the church exerting large influence over the state and society. This enthusiasm was reflected by the organizational links which the Abendländer maintained with Spain from the early 1950s through the CEDI, through which Christian Democratic politicians tried to improve German-Spanish relations and to achieve the recognition of the regime of General Francisco Franco (1892–1975) by Germany.47

    In addition to Spain and Portugal, there was another model for the German and European societies of the present which also established a clear link with the years around 1930: the old Austro-Hungarian model of "Mitteleuropa". References to the no longer extant Habsburg Empire served two aims. Firstly, efforts were made to depict the coexistence of different peoples under the Habsburg imperial crown as a model for the future of Europe. Secondly, there was a need for leaders – particularly Otto von Habsburg (1912–2011) [Otto von Habsburg (1912–2011) IMG] – who exuded the supposedly God-ordained authority which the Abendländer viewed as being absent in the new West Germany. The Abendländer were not devoted monarchists – authority was more important to them – but they greatly admired the son of the last Austrian emperor.

    By adopting positions on such diverse topics, the "Abendland movement" succeeded in the first half of the 1950s in becoming something of a "hegemonic integrative ideology"48 for the new Federal Republic. It appealed to very diverse groups in West German conservatism. The anti-modern worldview appealed to Catholics. Displaced ethnic Germans from the East valued the references to "Mitteleuropa" and the memories that it evoked of their "old home". Monarchists valued the homage paid to the Habsburg monarchy and Otto von Habsburg. Critics of democracy were attracted by the praise of the authoritarian systems in the Iberian Peninsula. Southern Germans were attracted by the fundamental anti-Prussian attitude. Supporters of European reconciliation liked the reference to the supranational category of the Abendland. And all of these groups were united by an avowedly anti-communist attitude. Thus, the buzzword Abendland was better suited than any other in the years around 1950 to bringing together conservatives of different backgrounds and to mobilising them in support of an extensive restructuring of the state and society.

    However, by the second half of the 1950s this was no longer the case. The "Abendland movement" came in for considerable criticism in 1955, after the Spiegel reported on its critical attitude towards constitutionalism.49 The Neues Abendland ceased publication in 1958. The "Abendland movement" reorganized and succeeded in remaining active, but on a much smaller scale than in the first half of the 1950s. Simultaneously, the increasing liberalization of West German society brought an end to the influence of the Abendland concept. It lost its function as a central concept for conservatives. As a topos, it now seemed too ideologically loaded, too Christian, too romantic or simply too reactionary. The need to orientate oneself towards traditional concepts of order receded. The term Abendland disappeared gradually but inexorably from public discourse.

    This brought to an end a phase which spanned from the end of the First World War – and harked back to concepts of order from the period of romanticism – to the end of the 1950s. In this period, the Abendland played an important role in various different variants. The development of the Abendland idea between the 1920s and the 1950s fits exactly into the idea-historical interpretative model of a transformation phase, at the end of which "traditional" concepts are on the retreat and are increasingly being replaced by "new" models of thought. From this perspective, the 1950s appear as the "`Schwanzstück´ eines historischen Abschnitts" (tail end of a historical phase), which was defined overall by the "verzweifelten Ringen der Zeitgenossen um akzeptable und allgemein konsensfähige Ordnungsmodelle, aber auch von dem scharfen Konflikt entgegengesetzter Entwürfe der Gesellschaft".50 The Abendland idea was a variant of these models of order, which were an attempt to develop the future political and social structure of Germany and Europe, albeit – and this is decisive – always with reference to a glorified past and with deep-rooted scepticism towards modernity. From the late 1950s, this attitude no longer had a future.

    Vanessa Conze



    [Anonymous]: Abendland: Die missionäre Monarchie, in: Der Spiegel 33/1955, pp. 12–14. URL: http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-31970943.html [2021-06-07]

    [Anonymous]: Straßburger Europarat lustlos, in: Neues Abendland: Zeitschrift für Politik, Kultur und Geschichte 6 (1951), p. 391.

    [Anonymous]: Politischer Universalismus, in: Neues Abendland: Zeitschrift für Politik, Kultur und Geschichte 1 (1946), Heft 6, pp. 26–27.

    Ebers, Godehart: Die Völkergemeinschaft, in: Abendland: Deutsche Monatshefte für europäische Kultur, Politik und Wirtschaft 2 (1926/1927), pp. 79–82.

    Franzel, Emil: Pariser Konferenz, in: Neues Abendland: Zeitschrift für Politik, Kultur und Geschichte 4 (1949), pp. 244.

    Franzel, Emil: Ein notwendiges Nachwort, in: Neues Abendland: Zeitschrift für Politik, Kultur und Geschichte 5 (1950), pp. 181–183.

    Franzel, Emil: Staatsform und geschichtlicher Raum, in: Neues Abendland: Zeitschrift für Politik, Kultur und Geschichte 4 (1949), pp. 47–51.

    Heilmann, Wolfgang: Christliches Gewissen zwischen Ost und West, in: Neues Abendland: Zeitschrift für Politik, Kultur und Geschichte 6 (1951), pp. 597–606.

    Kroll, Gerhard: Grundlagen abendländischer Erneuerung, Munich 1951.

    Platz, Hermann: Deutschland, Frankreich und die Idee des Abendlandes, Cologne 1924.

    Platz, Hermann: Um Rhein und Abendland, Burg Rothenfels 1924.

    Platz, Hermann: Abendländische Vorerinnerungen, in: Abendland: Deutsche Monatshefte für europäische Kultur, Politik und Wirtschaft 1 (1925/1926), p. 4.

    Schmittmann, Ella: Demokratie als personale Volksordnung, in: Neues Abendland: Zeitschrift für Politik, Kultur und Geschichte 2 (1947), pp. 1–3.

    Schreyvogl, Friedrich: Kampf um das Abendland, in: Abendland: Deutsche Monatshefte für europäische Kultur, Politik und Wirtschaft 1 (1925/1926), p. 12.

    Speckner, Karl: Rückkehr zu Europa, in: Neues Abendland: Zeitschrift für Politik, Kultur und Geschichte 3 (1948), p. 151.

    Spengler, Oswald: Der Untergang des Abendlandes: Umrisse einer Morphologie der Weltgeschichte: 2 vols.: Ungekürzte Sonderausgabe in einem Band, Munich 1973, (first edition 1918–1922). URL: http://www.archive.org/stream/deruntergangdesa01spen#page/n5/mode/2up [2021-06-07]


    Anselm, Reiner: Abendland oder Europa: Anmerkungen aus evangelisch-theologischer Perspektive, in: Philipp W. Hildmann (ed.): Vom christlichen Abendland zum christlichen Europa: Perspektiven eines religiös geprägten Europabegriffs für das 21. Jahrhundert, Munich 2009 (Argumente und Materialien zum Zeitgeschehen 65), pp. 17–22.

    Arend, Heike: Gleichzeitigkeit des Unvereinbaren: Verständigungskonzepte und kulturelle Begegnungen in den deutsch-französischen Beziehungen der Zwischenkriegszeit, in: Francia 10 (1994), pp. 131–149. URL: https://doi.org/10.11588/fr.1993.3.58448 [2021-06-07]

    Aschmann, Birgit: "Treue Freunde…?": Westdeutschland und Spanien 1945–1963, Stuttgart 1999.

    Bock, Hans-Manfred: Der Abendland-Kreis und das Wirken von Hermann Platz im katholischen Milieu der Weimarer Republik, in: Michel Grunewald et al. (eds.): Das katholische Intellektuellen-Milieu in Deutschland, seine Presse und seine Netzwerke (1871–1963), Bern et al. 2006, pp. 337–363.

    Brelie-Lewien, Doris von der: Abendland und Sozialismus: Zur Kontinuität politisch-kultureller Denkhaltungen, in: Detlef Lehnert et al. (eds.): Politische Teilkulturen zwischen Integration und Politisierung: Zur politischen Kultur der Weimarer Republik, Opladen 1990, pp. 188–218.

    Brelie-Lewien, Doris von der: Katholische Zeitschriften in den Westzonen 1945–1949: Ein Beitrag zur politischen Kultur der Nachkriegszeit, Göttingen 1986.

    Breuning, Klaus: Die Vision des Reiches: Deutscher Katholizismus zwischen Demokratie und Diktatur (1929–1934), Munich 1969.

    Broszat, Martin et al. (eds.): Von Stalingrad zur Währungsreform: Zur Sozialgeschichte des Umbruchs in Deutschland, Munich 1988. URL: https://doi.org/10.1524/9783486595512 [2021-06-07]

    Bücker, Vera: Die Schulddiskussion im deutschen Katholizismus nach 1945, Bochum 1989.

    Conze, Vanessa: Das Europa der Deutschen: Ideen von Europa in Deutschland zwischen Reichstradition und Westorientierung (1920–1970), Munich 2005. URL: https://doi.org/10.1524/9783486596335 [2021-06-07]

    Conze, Vanessa: "Gegen den Wind der Zeit"? Emil Franzel und das "Abendland" zwischen 1930 und 1950, in: Alexander Fallus et al. (eds.): Rückblickend in die Zukunft: Politische Öffentlichkeit und intellektuelle Positionen in Deutschland um 1950 und um 1930, Göttingen 2011, pp. 181–199.

    Ebneth, Rudolf: Die österreichische Wochenzeitschrift "Der christliche Ständestaat": Deutsche Emigration in Österreich 1933–1938, Mainz 1978.

    Elvert, Jürgen: Mitteleuropa! Deutsche Pläne zur europäischen Neuordnung (1918–1945), Stuttgart 1999.

    Faber, Richard: Abendland: Ein politischer "Kampfbegriff", Hildesheim 1979.

    Gollwitzer, Heinz: Europabild und Europagedanke: Beiträge zur deutschen Geistesgeschichte des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts, Munich 1964.

    Herbert, Ulrich: Liberalisierung als Lernprozess: Die Bundesrepublik in der deutschen Geschichte: Eine Skizze, in: Ulrich Herbert (ed.): Wandlungsprozesse in Westdeutschland: Belastung, Integration, Liberalisierung, Göttingen 2002, pp. 7–49.

    Hürten, Heinz: Europa und Abendland: Zwei unterschiedliche Begriffe politischer Orientierung, in: Philipp W. Hildmann (ed.): Vom christlichen Abendland zum christlichen Europa: Perspektiven eines religiös geprägten Europabegriffs für das 21. Jahrhundert, Munich 2009 (Argumente und Materialien zum Zeitgeschehen 65), pp. 9–15.

    Hürten, Heinz: Der Topos vom christlichen Abendland in Literatur und Publizistik nach den beiden Weltkriegen, in: Albrecht Langner (ed.): Katholizismus, nationaler Gedanke und Europa seit 1800, Paderborn 1985, pp. 131–154.

    Jost, Jonas: Der Abendland-Gedanke in Westdeutschland nach 1945: Versuch und Scheitern eines Paradigmenwechsels in der deutschen Geschichte nach 1945, Hannover 1994.

    Kettenacker, Lothar: Der Mythos vom Reich, in: Helmut Berding (ed.): Mythos und Nation, Frankfurt am Main 1996, pp. 261–298.

    Lenk, Kurt: Zum westdeutschen Konservatismus, in: Axel Schildt et al. (eds.): Modernisierung im Wiederaufbau: Die westdeutsche Gesellschaft der 50er Jahre, Bonn 1998, pp. 636–645.

    Lipgens, Walter: Die Anfänge der europäischen Einigungspolitik 1945–1950, Stuttgart 1977, vol. 1: 1945–1947 [vol. 2 was not published].

    Loth, Wilfried: Die Europa-Bewegung in den Anfangsjahren der Bundesrepublik, in: Ludolf Herbst et al. (eds.): Vom Marshallplan zur EWG: Die Eingliederung der Bundesrepublik in die westliche Welt, Munich 1990, pp. 63–77. URL: https://doi.org/10.1524/9783486595215.63 [2021-06-07]

    Loth, Wilfried: Deutsche Europa-Konzeptionen in der Eskalation des Ost-West-Konfliktes 1945–1949, in: Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 35 (1984), pp. 453–470.

    Loth, Wilfried: Rettungsanker Europa? Deutsche Europa-Konzeptionen vom Dritten Reich bis zur Bundesrepublik, in: Hans-Erich Volkmann (ed.): Ende des Dritten Reiches – Ende des Zweiten Weltkrieges: Eine perspektivische Rückschau, Munich et al. 1995, pp. 201–221.

    Lübbe, Hermann: Säkularisierung: Geschichte eines ideengeschichtlichen Begriffs, Freiburg 1965.

    Lück, Wolfgang: Das Ende der Nachkriegszeit: Eine Untersuchung zur Funktion des Begriffs der Säkularisierung in der "Kirchentheorie" Westdeutschlands, Berlin 1976. URL: https://archive.org/details/dasendedernachkr0000lckw [2021-06-07]

    Lützeler, Paul Michael: Der Schriftsteller als Politiker: Zur Europa-Essayistik in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart, Stuttgart 1997.

    Nolte, Paul: Gesellschaftstheorie und Gesellschaftsgeschichte: Umrisse einer Ideengeschichte der modernen Gesellschaft, in: Thomas Mergel et al. (eds.): Geschichte zwischen Kultur und Gesellschaft: Beiträge zur Theoriediskussion, Munich 1997, pp. 275–298.

    Oexle, Gerhard: Das Mittelalter und das Unbehagen an der Moderne: Mittelalterbeschwörungen in der Weimarer Republik und danach, in: Gerhard Oexle (ed.): Geschichtswissenschaft im Zeitalter des Historismus, Göttingen 1996, pp. 137–162.

    Pöpping, Dagmar: Abendland: Christliche Akademiker und die Utopie der Antimoderne 1900–1945, Berlin 2002.

    Ruster, Thomas: Die verlorene Nützlichkeit der Religion: Katholizismus und Moderne in der Weimarer Republik, Paderborn 1994. URL: https://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bvb:12-bsb00044696-0 [2021-06-07]

    Schewick, Bernhard von: Die katholische Kirche und die Entstehung von Verfassungen in Westdeutschland 1945–1950, Mainz 1981.

    Schildt, Axel: Zwischen Abendland und Amerika: Studien zur westdeutschen Ideenlandschaft der 50er Jahre, Munich 1999. URL: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783486594393 [2021-06-07]

    Schildt, Axel: Deutschlands Platz in einem "christlichen Abendland": Konservative Publizisten aus dem Tat-Kreis in der Kriegs- und Nachkriegszeit, in: Thomas Koebner et al. (eds.): Deutschland nach Hitler: Zukunftspläne im Exil und aus der Besatzungszeit, Opladen 1987, pp. 344–369. URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-322-94354-5_22 [2021-06-07]

    Schildt, Axel: Eine Ideologie im Kalten Krieg: Ambivalenzen der abendländischen Gedankenwelt im ersten Jahrzehnt nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg, in: Thomas Kühne (ed.): Von der Kriegskultur zur Friedenskultur? Zum Mentalitätswandel in Deutschland seit 1945, Hamburg 2000, pp. 49–63.

    Schildt, Axel: Intellektuelle Konstruktionen (West-)Europas 1950, in: Clio online/Themenportal Europäische Geschichte 2008. URL: http://www.europa.clio-online.de/2008/Article=284 [2021-06-07]

    Schildt, Axel: Moderne Zeiten: Freizeit, Massenmedien und "Zeitgeist" in der Bundesrepublik der fünfziger Jahre, Hamburg 1995.

    Schwarz, Hans-Peter: Vom Reich zur Bundesrepublik: Deutschland im Widerstreit der außenpolitischen Konzeptionen in den Jahren der Besatzungsherrschaft 1945–1949, Stuttgart 1980.

    Sontheimer, Kurt: Antidemokratisches Denken: Die politischen Ideen des deutschen Nationalismus zwischen 1918 und 1933, Munich 1968.

    Stölken-Fitschen, Ilona: Atombombe und Geistesgeschichte: Eine Studie der fünfziger Jahre aus deutscher Sicht, Baden-Baden 1995.

    Weber, Petra-Maria: Spanische Deutschlandpolitik 1945–1958, Saarbrücken 1992.


    1. ^ On the "Abendland", see among others: Conze, Das Europa der Deutschen 2005; Hürten, Der Topos 1985; Jost, Der Abendland-Gedanke 1994; Pöpping, Abendland 2002; Schildt, Deutschlands Platz 1987; Schildt, Zwischen Abendland und Amerika 1999; Schildt, Eine Ideologie im Kalten Krieg 2000.
    2. ^ Lützeler, Schriftsteller als Politiker 1997.
    3. ^ Faber, Abendland 1979.
    4. ^ Hürten, Europa und Abendland 2009, p. 14 ("a space defined by history which consequently cannot grow in the way that Europe can" transl. by N. Williams).
    5. ^ Anselm, Abendland oder Europa 2009, p. 17.
    6. ^ On the "ecumenical" aspects of the Abendland idea, particularly in the 20th century, see: Pöpping, Abendland 2002.
    7. ^ Gollwitzer, Europabild und Europagedanke 1964, p. 15.
    8. ^ Spengler, Untergang des Abendlandes 1973.
    9. ^ Ruster, Die verlorene Nützlichkeit 1994, p. 16 ("to present Catholicism as a vision of a better future" transl. by N. Williams).
    10. ^ Platz, Um Rhein und Abendland 1924; Platz, Deutschland 1924.
    11. ^ Platz, Abendländische Vorerinnerungen 1925/1926.
    12. ^ On the editorial board, see: Bock, Der Abendland-Kreis 2006, pp. 346–354. Notable members of the 14-strong editorial board were for example: Goetz Briefs, Alois Dempf, Konrad Beyerle, Theodor Brauer, Ignaz Seipel and Hugo Graf Lerchenfeld.
    13. ^ Schreyvogl, Kampf um das Abendland 1925/1926 ("The Abendland is not a random political strategy, but the last ripe fruit to fall from the tree of Christian knowledge as the ultimate formula for community life.", transl. by N. Williams).
    14. ^ Ebers, Die Völkergemeinschaft 1926/1927, p. 80 ("the God-ordained realization of the grand idea of the civitas Dei", transl. by N. Williams).
    15. ^ Arend, Gleichzeitigkeit des Unvereinbaren 1994, p. 140 ("raise awareness of what divides the two sides in order to assist reconciliation", transl. by N. Williams).
    16. ^ For examples of individual biographies, see: Conze, Das Europa der Deutschen 2005, pp. 56–110.
    17. ^ On the Mitteleuropa discussion, which became more intensive in Germany from 1930 onward, see: Elvert, Mitteleuropa! 1999.
    18. ^ Sontheimer, Antidemokratisches Denken 1968, p. 223; Kettenacker, Mythos vom Reich 1996, p. 267.
    19. ^ Sontheimer, Antidemokratisches Denken 1968, p. 242 ("the universalist imperial idea of the Middle Ages … connected with an equally universalist imperial idea, albeit one which had lost its Christian content, which had been replaced by the idea of the German Volk.", transl. by N. Williams).
    20. ^ Ebneth, Die österreichische Wochenzeitschrift 1978, p. 8 ("chosen [by] providence to be a Christian bulwark against Bolshevism and nationalism, and to rescue true Germanness and the whole of Occidental culture", transl. by N. Williams).
    21. ^ For example: Emil Franzel or Franz Klein/Robert Ingrim: Emil Franzel was born on 25 May 1901 in Haan in Bohemia and he was a journalist and a publicist. In his youth, he was a leading member of the Deutsche Sozialistische Arbeiter Partei (DSAP) in Czechoslovakia. After leaving the party (and a period in which he supported the National Socialists, which he subsequently denied after the end of the war) he developed into a committed conservative and monarchist. After the end of the Second World War, he was primarily engaged in representing the interests of the displaced Sudetenland Germans in the publications he was involved with, which included being editor-in-chief of the Neues Abendland. Franzel died on 29 June 1976. Robert Ingrim, who until 1946 was known as Franz Johann Klein, was born on 20 June 1895 in Vienna. After studying law, he worked as a conservative monarchist journalist, including for the Christlicher Ständestaat. In September 1938, he emigrated to London, and subsequently to the USA. In the USA, he was in close contact with monarchist exile groups around Otto von Habsburg, for whom he edited the Voice of Austria publication. In 1947, he returned to Europe. Ingrim lived in Switzerland until his death in March 1964. During this latter period he worked as a publicist, including for the Neues Abendland.
    22. ^ Breuning, Die Vision des Reiches 1969, pp. 238–253.
    23. ^ On the "Abendland" after the Second World War, see among others: Conze, Das Europa der Deutschen 2005; Hürten, Der Topos 1985; Jost, Der Abendland-Gedanke 1994; Schildt, Deutschlands Platz 1987; Schildt, Zwischen Abendland und Amerika 1999; Schildt, Eine Ideologie im Kalten Krieg 2000.
    24. ^ Broszat, Von Stalingrad zur Währungsreform 1988, Einleitung.
    25. ^ Hürten, Europa und Abendland 2009, p. 11. See also: Brelie-Lewien, Abendland und Sozialismus 1990 ("not exhausted or discredited like nation and fatherland", transl. by N. Williams).
    26. ^ Schewick, Die katholische Kirche 1981, pp. 5–30.
    27. ^ Johann Wilhelm Naumann also edited the Augsburger Tagespost from 1948 onward.
    28. ^ For example Ferdinand Kirchberger, Walter Hagemann, Helmut Ibach, Friedrich Zoepfl, Robert John, Anton Mayer-(Pfannholz), Wilhelm Schmidt, Hermann Port, Andreas Andrae and Werner Bergengruen.
    29. ^ See Kroll, Grundlagen 1951, pp. 21ff. Such positive references to the Middle Ages were not uncommon in Germany in the period just after the end of the Second World War. While these references to the Middle Ages declined in the late-1940s both in society generally and on the part of Catholics, the glorification of medieval conditions did not abate within the Abendland movement, but continued well into the 1950s. On this, see (in relation to historical studies): Oexle, Das Mittelalter 1996; for Catholic references to the Middle Ages: Bücker, Die Schulddiskussion 1989, p. 258.
    30. ^ Kroll, Grundlagen 1951, p. 10.
    31. ^ [Anonymous], Politischer Universalismus 1946, pp. 26–27 ("wonderfully well-arranged cosmos of the Occidental universitas", transl. by N. Williams).
    32. ^ Schmittmann, Demokratie 1947, p. 3 ("family of nations gathered together in the kingdom of Christ", transl. by N. Williams).
    33. ^ Speckner, Rückkehr zu Europa 1948. On efforts towards a re-Christianization generally, see: Lübbe, Säkularisierung 1965; Lück, Das Ende der Nachkriegszeit 1976 ("Only the Christian faith can resurrect Europe", transl. by N. Williams).
    34. ^ On Emil Franzel, see: Conze, Das Europa der Deutschen 2005, pp. 71–85, and Conze, "Gegen den Wind der Zeit?" 2011. See also: Brelie-Lewien, Katholische Zeitschriften 1986, p. 207.
    35. ^ On the activities and events of the Abendland movement, see: Conze, Das Europa der Deutschen 2005, pp. 111–206. See also: Schildt, Zwischen Abendland und Amerika 1999.
    36. ^ For example, Heinrich von Brentano, Alois Hundhammer, Hans Hutter, Richard Jaeger, Hans-Joachim von Merkatz, Hermann Pünder, Hans Schuberth, Theodor Steltzer, Theodor Oberländer and Franz-Joseph Würmeling. The Abendland organizations used these prominent names to advertize themselves, but these politicians were not directly involved in the leadership of these organizations (with the exception of Hans-Joachim von Merkatz and Richard Jaeger). The actual leadership included various members of the Upper Swabian family von Waldburg-Zeil, who also supported the Abendland organizations financially, the legal expert Friedrich August von der Heydte, the publicist Emil Franzel, the historians of eastern Europe Georg Stadtmüller and Georg von Gaupp-Berghausen, who as the secretary of the Abendländische Akademie and the CEDI was the main organizational figure. Subsequently, from about the mid-1950s, Otto von Habsburg also joined the inner circle of Abendländer. On these people who played central roles in the Abendland movement, see: Conze, Das Europa der Deutschen 2005, p. 12 and pp. 133f.
    37. ^ On the CEDI, see note 47.
    38. ^ For extensive quotations, see: Conze, Das Europa der Deutschen 2005, pp. 135ff.
    39. ^ Franzel, Pariser Konferenz 1949 ("the continuation of the Cold War", "a huge danger for Germany as a no man's land between the fronts", transl. by N. Williams).
    40. ^ See, for example: Franzel, Nachwort 1950, p. 182. On these kinds of argumentation, see: Stölken-Fitschen, Atombombe und Geistesgeschichte 1995, pp. 54–90.
    41. ^ Franzel, Staatsform 1949 ("unavoidable partition of Germany", transl. by N. Williams).
    42. ^ On the general rejection of the "American way of life" by conservative intellectuals in West Germany, see: Schildt, Moderne Zeiten 1995, pp. 398–423.
    43. ^ Heilmann, Christliches Gewissen 1951, p. 602 ("that a Christian … could pick neither the 'West' nor the 'East'").
    44. ^ Schildt, Zwischen Abendland und Amerika 1999, p. 40 ("delicate balancing act between the western option and anti-liberalism", transl. by N. Williams).
    45. ^ [Anonymous], Strasbourg Council of Europe 1951.
    46. ^ Kroll, Grundlagen 1951, p. 78.
    47. ^ On the activities of the CEDI, see: Conze, Das Europa der Deutschen 2005, pp. 169–206. See also: Aschmann, "Treue Freunde?" 1999; Weber, Spanische Deutschlandpolitik 1992.
    48. ^ Schildt, Intellektuelle Konstruktionen 2008.
    49. ^ Conze, Das Europa der Deutschen 2005, pp. 162–169, see also [Anonymous]: Abendland: Die missionäre Monarchie 1955.
    50. ^ "Schwanzstück": Schildt, Moderne Zeiten 1995, p. 32. Other quotations: Nolte, Gesellschaftstheorie und Gesellschaftsgeschichte 1997, pp. 285f ("desperate struggle of contemporaries to find acceptable models of order capable of generating a consensus, but also by the sharp conflict between opposing ideas of society" transl. by N. Williams).

    Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag
    Dieser Text ist lizensiert unter This text is licensed under: CC by-nc-nd 3.0 Germany - Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works

    Übersetzt von:Translated by: Niall Williams
    Fachherausgeber:Editor: Heinz Duchhardt for Andreas Gestrich
    Redaktion:Copy Editor: Lisa Landes

    Eingeordnet unter:Filed under:



    : Abendland, in: Europäische Geschichte Online (EGO), hg. vom Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte (IEG), Mainz European History Online (EGO), published by the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG), Mainz 2017-02-02. URL: https://www.ieg-ego.eu/conzev-2012-en URN: urn:nbn:de:0159-2016120202 [JJJJ-MM-TT][YYYY-MM-DD].

    Bitte setzen Sie beim Zitieren dieses Beitrages hinter der URL-Angabe in Klammern das Datum Ihres letzten Besuchs dieser Online-Adresse ein. Beim Zitieren einer bestimmten Passage aus dem Beitrag bitte zusätzlich die Nummer des Textabschnitts angeben, z.B. 2 oder 1-4.

    When quoting this article please add the date of your last retrieval in brackets after the url. When quoting a certain passage from the article please also insert the corresponding number(s), for example 2 or 1-4.

    Titelexport ausExport citation from: HeBIS-Online-KatalogHeBIS Online Catalogue external link