Talk:Friedrich Ludwig Jahn

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This is a complete, unreflected appraisal of the man who, among other things, iniated the first book burning in modern German speaking countries. See the German article for more details and ugly stuff that must be mentioned. -- 00:08, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Indeed, this person is found to be German anti-semite and nationalist. Another one of several here on Wiki whose views aren't shown.--Molobo 21:00, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

From German wiki: „Die Kleinstaaterei verhindert Deutschlands Größe auf dem Erdenrund. Wer seinen Kindern die französische Sprache lehren lässt, ist ein Irrender, wer darin beharrt, sündigt gegen den heiligen Geist. Wenn er aber seinen Töchtern französisch lehren lässt, ist das ebenso gut, als wenn er ihnen Hurerei lehren lässt. Polen, Franzosen, Pfaffen, Junker und Juden sind Deutschlands Unglück.” --Molobo 22:35, 31 May 2006 (UTC) Die Sozialistische Jugend verwies auf das rechtsextreme und rassistische Gedankengut, das der Österreichische Turnerbund in der Tradition des "Turnvaters " Friedrich Ludwig Jahn (Zitat: " Franzosen, Polen, Pfaffen, Junker und Juden sind Deutschlands Unglück! ") pflegt. In dieser zum Nationalsozialismus hinführenden Tradition steht das Hakenkreuz für die " Überlegenheit der arischen Rasse" . --Molobo 22:38, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I fully agree with Molobo that this article is not NPOV and needs to be revised. At least the word partiot is too euphemistic and should be replaced with nationalist'. --Schoelle 13:45, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Fascist Body As Political Icon--Global Fascism edited by J. A. Mangan[edit]

[1] There he read from his Deutsches Volkstum which he published in 1810. This is a work replete with racial intolerance and Darwinists assertions. In just one illustration in Deutsches Volkstum Jahn stated: ‘The purer a nation is the better; the more mixed it is the worse

This quotes demonstrate the ideology Jahn pushed forward. --Molobo 22:52, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Jahn was also a Darwinist avant la lettre. User:Ejrrjs says What? 08:21, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I've done an edit of the "Criticism" section that I hope may resolve this. I'll just make some comments on the tack I've taken.

That author cited above described something Jahn wrote in 1810 as "Darwinist", at a time when Darwin was one year old. Frankly, that's either a sign of incredible carelessness or of ideological axe-grinding about Darwinism, so that he's using it as shorthand for "racism".

That's dodgy, to say the least. Linnaeus and Gobineau, for example, both categorised the human races into lower and higher forms for 19th century audiences, and they were both orthodox Bible-believing creationists. I'm not inclined to take that writer seriously on Jahn or anything else, so I didn't use him.

The Jahn quotes in the German Wiki, which I do rely on, suggest xenophobia rather than thoroughgoing racism. That is, I've not found examples of Jahn expressing any strong views on French or Poles as a race, so long as their soldiers stayed in France and Poland. He said that their soldiers should get out of Germany, and they should leave German language and culture to develop in its own way. His comments on the French and their allies in occupation were intemperate, but probably not dissimilar to French comments on the Germans and their non-German troops when they occupied France 150 years later. Occupation does not spread brotherly and sisterly love.

The exception is Jahn's antisemitism. Jews weren't holding Germany under military occupation, so he has no excuse. Unless sharing a widespread and largely unquestioned prejudice is an excuse.

Jahn doesn't, however, seem to have been an important or leading antisemite. Histories of European or even German antisemitism generally don't mention Jahn at all, or refer to him only in passing. An example is the passing reference to Jahn that Molobo cited from "Exclusionary Violence: Antisemitic Riots in Modern German History". It gives a quote from Jahn that is definitely unpleasantly xenophobic (about hating non-Germans) but not antisemitic, since it didn't mention Jews or any other specific group. Jahn seems to have been a follower of antisemitic prejudice, not a leader.

But I didn't get into that discussion. I just quoted the most damning quote, the one that goes "Poles, French, priests, aristocrats and Jews are Germany's misfortune", and people can judge it for themselves.

Similarly, I mentioned the 1817 book-burning episode, but didn't comment that book-burning does not equal proto-Nazism. Some feminists held book-burnings in the 1970s and 1980s, and some conservative Christians still hold the odd bonfire, not to mention Muslims. It's distasteful, but not Nazism.

My suspicion is that Jahn would mainly have been burning French texts left behind by Napoleon's retreating troops, but that's speculation. All I know (from the German Wiki) is that his choice of texts annoyed Metternich, and you could, if you liked, argue that that must be a point in Jahn's favour. But I won't. Book-burning is always wrong, no matter what the motive.

I also doubt very much that Jahn's book-burning really revived a long-forgotten practice, as the German Wiki suggested. The authorities were burning subversive books in France and Germany in the 1700s, so his bonfire wasn't likely to have been all that long after the previous book-burning. But I let that assertion stand because I'm too lazy to try to find Jahn's immediate predecessor in book-burning. A clerical fellow or a courtier, I would expect, and not so long before Jahn. Or, indeed, a French soldier in Germany, burning pamphlets by Jahn and others only a few years earlier.

But when in doubt, let the German Wiki version stand. Book-burning is discreditable to Jahn, and so it's part of the whole picture.

It seems the reason the issue of Jahn's politics has come up is the caricature of Jahn in Peter Viereck's "Metapolitics" book, where Viereck plucked Jahn out of opbscurity and foisted opinions on him that Jahn did not hold, and claimed enormous, even apocalyptic, influence for him that he never had. Viereck's book was ingenious but it is pseudohistory. But because it was almost the only English-language information on Jahn for nearly 50 years, it was influential beyond its desserts.

The text I've provided doesn't include these reflections. It gives the most damning Jahn quote from a reliable source and the unpleasant fact of the 1817 book-burning. 13:01, 15 November 2007 (UTC) Laon

An example of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn's views, he wrote that :"hatred of everything foreign was the German's duty"[edit]

Jahn wrote that hatred of everything foreign was the German's duty [2] It's clear that this current version of the article presents a very biased view of this person and should be re-written. --Molobo 23:02, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

This link doesn't work. That aside it looks like there is some merit in your argument and it might be useful to contribute by expanding the "Critical Views" section in order to create a more balanced, better informed article. Wiggy! 12:42, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Anti-German POV[edit]

Molobo is an expert on anti-isms, especially its practical appliance, as shown in his contribs to Wikipedia. --Matthead 23:18, 31 May 2006 (UTC)


I was hoping to find a better article on Turnverein. New Ulm, Minnesota was founded by exiles from that movement who left Germany after government crackdowns. It was, for example, also an atheist movement I am told. In any case, there is almost no information about it in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:25, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I do not think that this article should be in dispute unless the accuracy is in question. If Jahn, in fact, introduced the parallel bars, the vaulting horse, the horizontal bar and balance beam and none of the other information is false than the article needs no editing. The fact that Jahn is mentioned in connection with the Nazis who came 100 years later gives clear indication that this critizm is emotionally and politically motivated. The encyclopedia should be correct and nothing more. If someone wants to add quotes or other factual material they should be able to. An article about an israeli statesman should not be in question if it is accurate just because the statesman is a zionist. etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vossbrinck (talkcontribs) 02:42, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Balanced article?[edit]

Right now the Criticism section is bigger than the description of his life. The critique is largely unreferenced, and the article fails to put his views into perspective, i.e. time and place. And the main reason for his degree of popularity is barely mentioned anyway. Karasek (talk) 20:18, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Broken Links[edit]

The links to pictures of the monument in Forest Park, St. Louis, MO from Facebook are broken --Statprof (talk) 11:40, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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