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In 1922 Walter Bloem, one of Germany's best-known nationalist writers, stunned his contemporaries with a political novel strongly opposed to racism, antisemitism, and extremism. Publication of this novel, Brotherhood (Die Briiderlichkeit), was a singular event in the Weimar Republic, for not one other best-selling philosemitic novel by a prominent nationalist author appeared in the years 1918-1932.1 Bloem was probably the best-selling author in Germany between 1912 and 1922, and Brotherhood started as a success with 90,000 copies in print by the end of 1922. But the novel also became the focus of a passionate political controversy. 2 On the right, Bloem's nationalist readers rejected his philosernitism. and henceforth viewed him as a renegade; therefore, his popularity slipped precipitously. On the left, liberals and socialists hailed his stand against antisemitism, but they in turn rejected his conservatism and nationalism. Bloem found himself politically isolated and, in part driven by this isolation, became a Nazi fellow traveler by 1933 and joined the Nazi party in 1938.
Bloem's career illustrates the perhaps insurmountable difficulties facing a conservative nationalist, who was also a philosernite, in Germany during the Weimar Republic; it also shows how impossible it was for a "loner" without party backing, however popular he or she might be as an author, to have any lasting influence in such polarized times. But while Bloem stood politically alone after publishing Brotherhood, deserted by his former allies on the right, he did represent his readers, the provincial reading public that also provided the mass following of the right-wing parties.3 Like his readers, he eventually surrendered to the extremists and accepted the Nazis.
Bloem's eventual acceptance of the Nazi revolution proves the limitations of his philosemitism. Unlike the left, Bloem's conservative philosernitism did not stem from any egalitarian belief in the equality of human beings. Further, although he had Jewish friends and admired some Jewish traditional qualities, Bloem's philosernitism did not stem from an admiration of Jewish contributions to society; he accepted common antisernitic stereotypes and rejected all those Jews who did not accept the German nationalistic traditions. Bloem's philosemitism was thus due to his rejection of volkisch racial antisemitism: to his opposition to the vulgarity, illegality, and stupidity of this type of Jew-hatred.4 And because Bloem's philosernitism was thus not based on either ethical or ideological conviction, he could and did join the Nazis when their cause appeared to represent his national beliefs.
Walter Bloem was born at Elberfeld in the Rhineland in June 1868 and raised in the adjacent, drab industrial city of Wuppertal. His parents came from the middle class-his father was an attorney and his mother was the child of manufacturers; Walter would always share, more or less, their bourgeois values and politics. After an undistinguished university career, during which he spent most of his time on student corps (i.e., dueling fraternity activities), Bloem started a floundering law practice.5 A second career as a nationalist playwright also proved unsuccessful.6 Finally, Bloem achieved fame and fortune during 1911-1914 with a fictional trilogy about the achievement of German unity during the Franco-Prussian War.7 This trilogy transformed him into the best-selling author of 1911-1922, the favorite of the broad provincial middle class and the ruling elite (including Kaiser Wilhelm II himself).8
During the First World War, Bloem was a much decorated infantry officer.9 He spent the first half of 1915 as the press officer of the Belgium occupation regime; consequently he stood "suddenly in the focal point of a political life inflamed by war."10 During 1916-1918, Bloem was head of the Field Press Office which was assigned the mission of guiding opinion within the army and at home into channels desired by the Supreme Command.11 Well into the summer of 1917, Bloem served as an ardent, influential spokesman for the regime's policies, countering (for example) enemy propaganda about German atrocities in Belgium and annexationist war goals.12 He savagely attacked the Reichstag deputies for their Peace Resolution of July 1917 in an article ordered by Ludendorff to be distributed en masse in the army. 13 However, personal contact with Wilhelm 11 and the Supreme Command combined with revulsion at the unprecedented bloodletting at Verdun to erode Bloem's confidence in the Second Reich.14 The war also gave Bloem a new respect for the common man.15 In 1917, he proclaimed that the lasting legacy of the war would be "a deepened feeling of brotherhood" permeating all Germans.16 Finally in an official speech delivered 4 November 1918 in Berlin, Bloem (who had long disapproved of the systematic deception of Kaiser and homefront as to the true state of the war effort) horrified his superiors and much of his traditional audience by admitting that the war was lost and that the Kaiser might have to abdicate.17 When the monarchy was toppled shortly thereafter, Bloem. advised against counterrevolution and signed a declaration of support for the new regime drawn up by the "Berlin Artists and Writers." Despite intense despair over the death of the old order, Bloem the most read novelistic apologist for the Second Reich, had become a reluctant republican. 18
Bloem entered the Weimar era as the representative author of the German entertainment literature industry. Entertainment fiction had an immense circulation in Germany where it had been the major item on the book market since the eighteenth century, had constituted a significant portion of German newspapers, and had become the staple of the lending libraries with their mass of lower-middle class and proletarian customers.19 Throughout his writing career, Bloem saw himself as educator as well as entertainer of the nation, as the medium by which the Volk achieved self-consciousness and unity.20 Now, although he refused to join a party or become a mere propagandist, Bloem became avowedly political. He turned to thesis novels designed to deliver a socio-political message.21
As a political educator, however, Bloem was quite flawed. He was devoid of religious faith (his Calvinist upbringing notwithstanding); neither his neohumanist nor legal education had convinced him of the worth of the tradition of moral philosophy.22 Thus Bloem easily succumbed to a general tendency among Germans during his lifetime (mirrored and reinforced by historicism, positivism, literary and political realism, and existentialism) to forego transhistorical standards for human action derived from canonical revelation or nature.23 Without such standards he could neither see social reality clearly nor steer a permanently moral course. Rather, he confronted his world through sense experience apprehended as pictures.24 Refraction through the prism of national conservative ideology unified yet distorted these pictures in his mind's eye.25 The result was a vision of his times sufficiently askew to merit the term "second reality."26 His self-comprehension was also deluded. He defined himself in reference to the collective identities of nation and social elite while imagining for himself an absurd great personality as belletristic voice of the Volk.27 That Bloem's political vision was nonetheless more healthy than that of most of the German Right derived from his natural decency, from his readiness to learn from experience, and from the residues in his thought of the principled Judaeo-Christian, liberal and conservative traditions. Yet, while Bloem preferred humane means to sustain the nation and its corollary idol of the traditional social elites, he had no principled foundation for convincing others, or even himself, that vile means were impermissible.
That Bloem decided to defend the Republic and assault antisemitism. in a novel in 1922 stemmed from his liberal and Christian upbringing as well. as his actual experiences. His father, clearly a liberal of the old school whose first wife had been Jewish, "considered antisernitism to be barbaric nonsense." The religious tradition of Wuppertal, where Bloem had been raised, viewed the Jews not only as those who killed Christ, but also as the people of the Bible. In the Berlin theater world, Bloem became a close friend of German nationalist Jews like Ludwig Fulda and Georg Engel. During the war Bloem was impressed by the bravery of Jewish soldiers. He was appalled when a young platoon sergeant in his former battalion, the son of Felix Hollander (a prominent writer and Max Reinhardt's leading producer), was denied promotion to the officer corps despite extraordinary heroism simply because he was a Jew. Young Hollander subsequently was killed in combat.28
The immediate impulse behind Brotherhood was the decision of one of the largest associations of university student fraternities, the Kosener Senioren Conventsverband (KSC), to exclude Jews.29 In general, the corporations of university students saw themselves as the crucibles of the nation's future ruling elite. The student corps or dueling fraternities, united in the KSC, were infused with an intense nationalism and a monarchist tradition. They viewed themselves as the cream of the academics, a sort of an elite within an elite. Although the corps had traditionally been the most liberal, though apolitical, of the student corporations, they became after World War I both anti- republican and antisemitic. 30
In 1920, the Kosener Congress passed an amendment to the KSC constitution obliging members "to serve the fatherland through cultivation of national usage and stock, through keeping away everything immoral and un- German." The Congress agreed unanimously to interpret this clause as precluding further admission of Jews. The racial fanatics in the corps were, however, dissatisfied with this imprecise formulation. They pushed for a statute explicitly prohibiting acceptance of Jews defined by race.31 Apparently, there was even a movement afoot to revoke the memberships of Jewish Old Boys (Alte Herren) and of those old members married to a woman of full or partial Jewish heritage.32
Bloem, an Old Boy of two member corps of the KSC, Teutonia in Marburg and Lusatia in Leipzig, was incensed by these racial demands. As a jurist he was particularly angered by the demands to expel Old Boys who had earlier married Jews and to block membership to the sons of such marriages. This "meant something judicially and humanely unheard of: a provision for punishment with retroactive force..."33 Significantly, Bloem's sense that the proposed statute was unjust derived from a procedural rather than a substantive view of the rule of law. The horror for him lay not in the impending violation of the principle of equality before the law but in the ex-post-facto quality of the projected measure.
A personal, emotionally charged experience crystallized Bloem's political stance. His corps brother, the well-known surgeon Wilhelm Schultheiss, had married an American Jew. They had three sons. Schultheiss was deeply involved in the affairs of the corps Teutonia in Marburg and had educated his boys "only in the thought that they would some day wear the blue-red-gold ribbon." His oldest son, ready to enter the university, would be barred from Teutonia. if the KSC adopted the anti-Jewish membership clause.34
Bloem tried to thwart the move for a clear-cut "Aryan paragraph" in the KSC by direct action. He spoke on the Jewish question in Berlin before the collective board of the Association of Old Corps Students.35 He lectured against antisernitism at several universities.36 Finally in 1921, he stood up alone at the KSC Congress against the plan to exclude Jews, evoking bitter opposition.37 But his efforts were in vain-the KSC Congress changed the statutes expressly to forbid admission of Jews by race to the corps. According to a further regulation, each freshman on demand had to produce proof that he "had no ancestor of Jewish heritage up to and including the line of his grandparents.38
The KSC adoption of an Aryan paragraph was the last straw for Bloem. Sharing the belief in the corps as training grounds for Germany's elite, he now decided to bring his case to the nation.39
The action of the KSC Congress was finally decisive for me. Out of the whole structure of the old Reich, only the academic associations remained in existence after 1918 as protectors of the fatherland. And now these wanted to take a step, which let itself be answered before no court of honor and justice! I then, if ever, felt myself now called to a knight's deed of the spirit.40
For his "knight's deed," Bloem chose the literary genre most adapted to his talents and most likely to reach a mass audience-the novel.41
One last experience contributed to "the original material and punctum saliens of Brotherhood"-a meeting with Carl Sormenschein, the Catholic theologian and founder of the Catholic-Social Student Movement.42 Before the Weimar era, religion little concerned Bloem. who, despite his Calvinist upbringing, was not attached during his adult life to any church. After the collapse of the Empire, however, personal contacts in the strictly Catholic north Bavaria (where his castle Rieneck was located) turned him into an admirer of the Catholic Church, which affected the themes and messages of his fiction.43 His pro-Catholic stance, however, stemmed from social-minded conservatism rather than from inner conversion.
Thus, Sormenschein appealed to Bloem because the former aimed at harmony between the industrial workers and the rest of the nation. Sormenschein saw the emergence of a social conscience among the academics as a prerequisite for this harmony. Bloem incorporated some of Sonnschein's central ideas in his image of a German "brotherhood" encompassing those elements, namely the workers and the Jews, who hitherto had been considered to be beyond the pale.44 Sonnenschein himself, transparently fictionalized as the Catholic spiritual advisor Dr. Hohmann, plays a pivotal role in the plot of Brotherhood.
The novel, written in 1921, tells the story of two World War I heroes, the Aryan pilot, Hans Joachim Eichholz, who had won the famous "Blue Max," the highest possible decoration for an officer of his rank, and Ludwig Lowenstein, a Protestant of Jewish origin.45 When Hans Joachim comes home from an English prisoner-of-war camp, he is afire to return to the university in Schafflingen where he intends to learn "what it means to be German" and to enjoy the comradeship of his old dueling fraternity, Franconia (which belongs to the KSC).46
He soon finds much awry in the corps, however. Franconia, indeed the student corporations generally, are bastions of privilege where tradition and trivial fraternity activities crowd out education about Germandom. Most disheartening is the anti-Jewish resistance to Ludwig.47 Ludwig does have some flaws that Bloem clearly portrayed as typically Jewish. Sometimes boastful, Ludwig is inherently skeptical, innovative, and completely lacking in awe before secular tradition. These traits supposedly made the Jews agents of change. For Bloem, a moderate conservative, some change, both within the corps and within Germany as a whole, was necessary to meet the demands of the present. "Jewish" traits, when constrained within the framework of a nationalist conservatism, were therefore an actual boon to society (although equating Jews with change approaches the antisernitic notion of Jews as the "ferment of decomposition").48 Ludwig certainly has the right values: a man of great courage, he is the fraternity's best duelist; steeped in corps traditions, he reorganizes Franconia's finances and helps in all aspects of its administration.49 In key respects, moreover, the Lowenstein family is the antithesis of antisernitic stereotypes. Ludwig and his sister, Ruth, with whom Hans Joachim falls in love, are physically beautiful and completely committed to Germandom.50 Their father, a Justizrat, is a patriotic paragon of fiscal integrity who, much like the real-life Schultheiss, had longed for the day when his son would become a corps student.51
While Ludwig is the target of the traditional antisemitism of the fraternity's reactionaries, his deadliest antagonist is Hermann Strobel, who represents the Volkisch or racist movement of which the Nazis, then unknown to Bloem, would become the prime party-political representative. An insecure and unsavory bully, Strobel, compensates for his lack of a war record (the other Franconians are all veterans) by dueling unskilled freshmen.52 Strobel's hatred of Jews stems from racial theories, a sense of inferiority, and envy of Ludwig.
Hans Joachim (as Bloem's mouthpiece) agitates to reform the corps and through them the academic corporations and educated middle class generally. The corps, whatever their faults, are potential nuclei for German rejuvenation because they alone carry on the spirit of associative life, of community.53 To fulfill their potential, they must cease to be citadels of "old interests and privileges" and temper respect for tradition with willingness to change.54 Uncategorical opposition ' to the Weimar Republic must be dropped; however untimely and wrong in removing the Kaiser, the November Revolution swept away much that was outworn and was a natural explosion against "monstrosities" like 'militarism, feudalism, antisemitism, mammonism.. . . "55
At any rate, Hans Joachim tells his peers, state form is second to national unity. The Republic must be at least formally accepted as a bulwark against chaos and as the will of the working masses. These must be reconciled if the Bildungsburgertum (the educated middle class) is to regain leadership and if all Germans are to become nationalists. Academic youth must take the lead in winning over workers by renouncing privilege and by responsible preparation for and execution of later public office.56
Reform of the corps must be coupled with a campaign against antisemitism. While conceding dangerous features to contemporary Jews, many of whom admittedly failed to do their part in the war, Hans Joachim argues that these are the product of the shameful repression of a race that had done nothing more than fail to understand a prophet of its own blood. Hatred of the Jews, which has been most pronounced in the corps and in the universities, has alienated them from the national movement.57
There are only two possible solutions to the Jewish question: pogrom until total expulsion or the removal of all barriers. Pogrom is out of the question for a multitude of reasons-it would be barbaric, un-Christian, and utopian, and it would isolate Germany among the civilized nations. There is only one true Jewish policy: whatever harmful qualities the Jews may have must be educated out of them. The corps must take the lead in the job of schooling Jews of good win to Germandom; "only then do we have the right and duty to fight against the malacious with all means."58 To reject Jews who come to a corps ready to accept its life style is more than just un-Christian, inhuman, and anti-social; it is stupid and politically harmful. Antisemitism is ridiculous in cases like that of Ludwig Lowenstein a defender of the fatherland and a model corps student. Jews must be judged as individuals. Hans Joachim announces, therefore, that he will oppose any plans to ban Jews from the KSC "as medieval narrow-mindedness, worse than the burning of witches and the inquisition."59
The corps must become the bearer of true German unity through love, with brotherhood emerging the "fundamental truth of our life."60 Love is the key to salvation and must embrace all Germans regardless of faith, class or race: "that love which also recognizes and honors the German brother in the political and economic opponent."61
Antisemitism in Franconia, which Hans Joachim is unable to defuse, breeds tragedy when Strobel shoots Ludwig in a pistol duel.62 Ludwig leaves behind a last letter glowing with love for the Germans and arguing that the corps students must take the lead in amalgamating the Jews. Germans must think national rather than volkisch, drawing proletarians and Jews into the fold.63 Hans Joachim, who now feels a boundless hatred for hate, tells his followers in the corps: Ludwig "wanted to be German and therefore he was one. It is the heart that makes the German, and not the nose and not the blood."64
The Justizrat Lowenstein, comes with Ruth to bury his son with honors provided by the corps. The old man quits Franconia when, at the corps function to mourn Ludwig, he sees through the formally correct veil of sympathy to the abyss of hate that killed his son. Father and daughter now see the absurdity of trying to be German. Ruth renounces Hans Joachim's love, raises the specter of the proletariat avenging the Jews and entertains the possibility of a new national pride, the Jewish.65
Dr. Hohmann (Sonnenschein fictionalized) intervenes to keep a desolate Hans Joachim from resigning from Franconia by enlisting him in efforts to create a social studentry as "bearer of the national unity-throughout all strata, classes castes and races."66 Hohmann reconciles the old Justizrat to the Franconians by asking: "Should Wotan, should Moses triumph-or Christ?" Ruth, who clearly will someday marry Hans Joachim, overcomes her father's hesitance by handing him his Franconian band. "The old man raised his glance. A light shone therein like the morning shimmer of a new day for humanity."67
The political message of Brotherhood, a brand of Reform Conservatism, was riddled by antisernitic misconceptions and a misplaced faith in the educated social elite. Ominously Bloem left the door open for future action against Jews (and others) who, after some indeterminate period of tolerance and reeducation, were deemed to be still outside of or opposed to the Volk community. Indeed, Bloem himself was beset with volkisch illusions, although for him shared ideals, common culture, national sentiment, and will, rather than race, were the cement of the Volk. The kind of Volk community projected by Bloem could tolerate all sorts of divergencies-political, economic, religious, racial-that were anathema to the volkisch movement and its chief heirs, the Nazis.68 On the whole, for all its flaws, the novel was a powerful rebuttal of antisernitism. Bloem created Jewish characters (who, while converted, were seen as Jews by most readers) deeply loyal to Germany and humanly attractive in almost every detail. Furthermore, Bloem turned the tables on the antisemites by making his scurrilous characters reactionaries and volkisch radicals.
Bloem's Brotherhood was published in Leipzig by Grethlein, a politically unaffiliated firm that possessed the right of first refusal to Bloem's belletristic works.69 It appeared around mid-June 1922 in a first printing of fifty thousand copies, standard for Bloem since 1912 but enormous for the times.70 A publisher could afford such a risk only with a writer of unquestionably great marketability. The novel quickly went into new printings. By the end of 1922, there were at minimum ninety thousand copies in print.71 These early figures were comparable to those for Bloem's popular war novels and marked Brotherhood as a bestseller at a time (1918-1928) when the average book may have had a circulation of 3,000 copies and when high circulation was said to begin around 40-50,000.72 Sales of Brotherhood surely were helped by the fortuitous appearance of the novel almost at the moment of Walther Rathenau's death.73 Rathenau, the Republic's foreign minister, was detested by extreme nationalists as a politically liberal Jew and exponent of the policy of fulfilling Germany's obligations under the Treaty of Versailles, and was murdered by young men convinced that he was a leader of a Jewish world conspiracy. His assassination, the most important antisernitic act in the early Weimar years, had multiple repercussions on German politics, galvanized those in favor of the Republic to self-defense, and outraged millions of Germans.74 Reader letters in the Bloem literary estate in Wuppertal suggest that most readers fit into one of two categories: national-minded Jews and Bloem's traditional audience, the intensely patriotic middle class.75
By the end of 1922, negative reviews in the nationalist press most likely discouraged further purchases among Bloem's traditional reader community. The novel may have also suffered from the general downturn in demand for books that started around February 1923 with a "quiet buyer's strike" (born of the increasing financial decimation of the educated classes) and which continued with a vengeance after the stabilization of the mark in November.76 Currency stabilization made money scarce; book consumption plunged since people naturally used limited funds for material recovery rather than culture.77 Moreover, just as the book may have prospered in 1922 in part due to revulsion over Rathenau's death, it may not be entirely coincidental that Brotherhood withered in 1923 when the French occupation of the Ruhr, German passive resistance, and hyperinflation provided volatile new fuel for antisernitism and political extremism generally.78 At any rate, the book does not seem to have been reprinted again until 1927, when "people's editions" of ten Bloem novels appeared.79 One hundred and ten thousand copies ultimately found their way to the bookshops.80 The novel reached a further, although completely Jewish audience, through serialization in the Israelitisches Familienblatt.81 In 1928, the CV-Zeitung published an excerpt from Brotherhood.82 On at least one occasion, in the friendly environs of Elberfeld, Bloem read passages from the novel to a reportedly enthusiastic crowd.83
A publisher with greater economic clout or political commitment than Grethlein might have done better in sustaining the sales of Brotherhood beyond 1922 (and in preventing the subsequent dramatic decline in Bloem's marketability). Grethlein possessed neither rightwing credentials nor leadership; hence, the firm lacked the credibility, connections, and leverage to counter hostile nationalist reviews. Also Grethlein did not have anything like the massive literary prestige of, for instance, the great S. Fischer Verlag or the tremendous economic clout and marketing expertise of the likes of the house of Ullstein.84 Perhaps only such prestige or clout could have induced booksellers to sell the book to a resisting public whether directly or indirectly by generating a demand to which they would have had to respond. Far from being able to help Bloem, Grethlein appears to have begun to disintegrate when Bloem's popularity, which had been so important to buoying the firm's finances, plummetted after 1922. Retrospectively Bloem found Grethlein and its head, Kurt Hauschild, inadequate aids to his career even before the advent of Brotherhood. At any rate, Grethlein was of no help to Bloem the moment he ceased to be a mere mirror of his constituents and tried to lead them where they resisted going. Partyless, Bloem was unable to compensate for Grethlein's weakness with the backing of a strong political organization.85 This would render his vd1kisch conservative reformism impotent as the following detailed history of the novel's reception and impact shows.
. There is evidence that Bloem's novel greatly influenced the political thinking of a number of German nationalists, especially in 1979. A good many more might have been swayed, but the right-wing press soon swung into action to warn potential readers of the book's seductive dangers. As a result, whatever hopes Bloem had had that his novel would work a far-reaching reform-whether within the narrower compass of the corps or in the whole German right-were doomed. Indeed, the novel aroused a storm of animosity, often quite personal, from the political directions and various associations that had hitherto viewed Bloem as one of their main literary proponents. These now rejected him with varying degrees of sharpness as a democrat, A Republican, a pacifist and a philosemite. This was especially true of the student fraternities, the main targets of his reform efforts.86
To be sure, there were isolated voices among the student organs favorable to the novel. For example, Dr. 0. F. Scheuer, in the Deutsche Hochschul-Warte in Prague, completely approved of Bloern's plan to educate the Jews to Germandom.87 Dr. Karl Konrad was more reserved in the November/December issue of the Burschenschaftliche Wege. But Konrad did contend that even Bloem's opponents ought to be grateful for "the many inspirations and teachings in Brotherhood. The students will have to occupy themselves for a long time still with the novel.88 In 1925, a critic for Burschen heraus left no doubt about his readiness to accept Bloem's program:
Whoever approaches the content [of this novel] . . . without prejudice and thereby keeps in view the pure intention of the author, who belongs to the best of the fatherland, must admit at the end of the novel: here a genuine German has told us where there is deficiency and how things should be done in the future.89
These favorable responses only highlighted the overall negative response. Volkisch tendencies had too deeply encroached into the non-Catholic associations for them to forgive, much less favor, a public critique of their antisernitism and traditionalism-even by an insider with nationalist credentials. The Kosener S. C. Verband was especially adamant in rejecting a novel that had been immediately inspired by the KSC decision to exclude Jews. In May 1923, the official KSC journal, the Deutsche Corpszeitung, blasted Brotherhood as a "bad book," totally dominated by a thesis out of touch with reality.' The KSC organ objected to Bloem's idealization of Jewish characters, "to whom some completely small failings and racial qualities are granted, presumably to make them at least somewhat more probable."91 Bloem, the KSC mouthpiece insisted, did not understand the Jewish question at all, in failing to realize the incompatibility of the Jewish spirit with the essence of the corps. Bloem was wrong when he claimed that the corps had a responsibility to educate the Jews out of their dangerous features. His misrepresentations had much damaged the public reputation of the corps.92
Repeatedly, student organs alleged that Bloem did not understand the racial question and that he had spread a distorted image of the corps to the general public. For example, Die Volkshochschul-Gemeinschaft described Bloem's plea for brotherhood as tendentious while attacking the novel's idealization of Jews and its supposed failure to discuss the race problem.93 Similarly, the Berliner HochschulNachricht would have nothing to do with Bloem's fight against traditionalism and anti-Jewish discrimination.94 A review in the Akademische Mitteilungen denied the least value to Brotherhood, either as art or as message:
The problems of the students in 1922 are not touched; those broached, the pre-November corps-student questions, are handled superficially (the Jewish question is not solved with an expenditure of sentimentality!)-The novel reads quickly, but is without deeper value.95
Not all academic critics of Bloem's novelistic diatribe against radical volkisch antisernitism were so unequivocally harsh in their judgment. Kurt Emig, in the 15 April 1923 issue of the Deutsche Hochschul Zeitung, found much good to say about Bloem's critique of tradition and praised Bloem's storytelling talents. Emig even concluded his essay with the view that the novel "will be much read, must be much read." Yet Emig also quarrelled with Bloem's completely negative portrait of the racists and his idealized characterization of the Jews. Emig further contended that the book would not shake the determination of the corps students to exclude the Jews.96
Not every condemnation of the novel by active or old fraternity members was printed in the organs of the academic associations. One Old Boy, writing for the Hannoversche Landeszeitung, defended the corps's right to exclude whom they wished. The novel's inner tragedy, he proclaimed, stemmed from the misguided decision of the elder Lowenstein to force admission of his son.97
Bloem's book caused a furor in his own two corps, Teutonia in Marburg and Lusatia in Leipzig. True, Bloem was not without supporters in his own corps. Some expressed their backing privately, as did one Heinrich Speckert. In April 1923, Speckert wrote Bloem to express his appreciation for the novel-"I am pleased that you place human beings above party and above religion. I am no antisemite, no philosemite, but a philanthropist; I prefer a good upstanding Jew to a characterless Christian."98 Other corps brothers did not hesitate to enter the public lists for Bloem and his novel. One fired off an open letter to the Pfalzer Corpszeitung, confusing at length a scurrilously ad hoariness review of Brotherhood in that paper.99 Of greater import was a review of the novel by Bloem's friend Georg Weiss in the house organ of the corps Teutonia-Marburg.100
Weiss's review appeared in December 1922 and described the novel's various characterizations as masterful. It is a wonder, Weiss exclaimed, "how Bloem is also able to put himself into the tragedy of the disunited, lonesome Semitic soul, forced as it is to hypercriticism!"101 Weiss praised the book for its struggle against the cult of tradition, "against the noble and cold isolation of the corps, against thoughtless, fanatic antisernitism and chauvinism, and for the timely rejuvenation of the original corps ideals." Weiss did admit that the novel had its exaggerations and omissions. He noted specifically the oversimplified identification of all antisernitism with the vulgar, rabid extremism of Arthur Dinter (author of the prototypical racial novel, the bestselling Sin Against the Blood) and Theodor Fritsch (honored by the Nazis as the "Old Master"). However, Weiss insisted, Bloem's motives were pure-Bloem's simplifications stemmed from love of fatherland and the conviction of the need for unity with Catholics, Jews, and workers.102 Weiss admonished his corps brothers to read the book with an open mind; "so much is required by brotherhood."103
But in 1922-1923 the majority of corps brothers, both in Lusatia and Teutonia, appear to have been opposed to the novel and its program. As Weiss himself foresaw, the greater part of the Marburg corps brothers objected to his review.104 The corps paper even printed a confutation by the Ministerialrat Rocholl.105 Members of Teutonia. in Heidelberg, as well as those in Marburg, reportedly took a hostile stance.106 Herman Munzel sarcastically described the reactionary mood behind the resistance to the novel in Marburg: "one celebrates the Kaiser's birthday on 27 January and waits for the war of liberation to break out in two hours. . . . "107 The atmosphere in the Leipzig chapter of Lusatia was no less hostile. On 16 December 1922, an official commission of Lusatia resolved that Brotherhood had spread a false picture of the corps, "so that in wide circles false notions must develop and a great damage to the corps-student idea is to be feared..."108 In each of his two corps, Bloem was ultimately forced to face courts of honor. He was absolved in both cases, although his corps brothers certainly still differed from him on the Jewish issue. Much later, in his autobiography, Bloem would attribute the acquittals to the readiness of the corps to tolerate criticism and differences of opinion.109 However, the chief factors in the acquittals were more likely Bloem's personal magnetism and reputation.
By the spring of 1923, Bloem had found it necessary to respond to these criticisms in an open letter to Rocholl. Apparently, this appeared in some five to six hundred copies.110 in his answer, Bloem denied that the Franconia of the novel was modeled on the Marburg chapter of Teutonia. Bloem's letter also wrestled with the charge that he had damaged the public image of the corps by airing before a wide audience internal matters best discussed behind closed doors. Bloem replied that he had addressed corps problems in a popular novel because corps-student assemblies had hitherto turned a deaf ear to his appeals. Besides, he wanted to reach all academics, not just the dueling fraternities. Moreover, corps-student problems were of crucial importance to the life of the nation, since the academic associations were the crucible of the country's future leadership. Thus he, whose entire life had been service to the fatherland, felt obliged to address the whole nation. Ultimately, Bloem asserted, the people as a whole, not any council of students, had to pass judgment on his novel, for his book was the cornerstone of a new academic edifice.111 in the long run Bloem seems to have won over personal friends to something like agreement with his views. Two corps in Wurzburgwhere perhaps not incidentally Bloem's son Walter Julius attended school-began to swing over to his stance on the Jewish question.112 Brauer and Klinnert, historians of the politicization of German students after 1918, report acceptance of a Jew by a Wurzburger corps even after Hitler's seizure of power.113 By 1928, Lusatia-Leipzig had come to accept Bloem's program for an evolutionary conservatism.
The corps organ proudly reported that what Bloem had advocated for years had been transformed into the accepted goal of domestic politics through Hindenburg's example: "Loyalty toward other opinions and toward the state."114 Such eventual acceptance of one or more of the main points in Brotherhood was limited in corps circles to those who knew Bloem personally.115
Bloem's book was an attack on the radical volkisch movement in general, not just on its manifestations in the student associations. It was plainly designed to win over rather than just to polemicize against those susceptible to volkisch propaganda, not just in the fraternities but in the nationalist middle classes as a whole. Brotherhood was just the kind of book, staunchly nationalist and saturated with volkisch ideas, likely to make converts on the radical right.116 It proffered an alternative volkisch program, devoid of racialism and violent attacks on the Weimar Republic. In the event, Brotherhood did lure even some volkisch activists away from antisernitism. The Montagsblatt (Prague) reported the pacification by Bloem's novel of some of the most hard-nosed anti-Jewish agitators in German Bohemia.117 As late as 1934, a Nazi poet and SA member named Winckler, who idolized Hitler, could suffer intense pangs of conscience because of Brotherhood. The novel reconfirmed Winckler's own happy experiences with Jews and made him doubt whether he could remain an active member of the SA.118 Winckler was tormented by the hypothetical problem of Hans Joachim Eichholz's fate in the Third Reich. Hans Joachim, Winckler was convinced, would certainly have married Ruth Lowenstein eventually. Thus the young Germanic hero would have found himself a pariah in 1933, a Wahljude (a Jew by choice).119
It is possible that Brotherhood might have made considerable inroads among the volkisch rank-and-file had it been left uncontested. However, volkisch organs recognized the seductive powers of the book and swung their critical artillery against it. In August 1922, a critic for the volkisch review Heimgarten expressed the fear that Brotherhood would convert many to philosernitism. He warned those who had read the novel not to draw general conclusions from the unique case of Ludwig Lowenstein, Ironically, the critic himself was susceptible to the novel's plea for a Volk community rather than racial hate. "Yet, unfortunately the problematic of ... [Bloem's] ... interesting novel loses itself ultimately with one-sided tendentiousness in the burning race question." Bloem is wrong when he says that anyone who wishes to be and feels German is German. Bloem had missed "the true core of the race problem."120 Over a year later, Heimgarten plainly viewed the novel as still a grave enough threat to merit another long, hostile review. The author of this essay, Arthur Trebitsch, also described Brotherhood as an utmost danger to the volkisch cause. The book's powerful artistic qualities, Trebitsch insisted, insured it a far-reaching impact, especially on the young. As a counter to Bloem's central thesis, Trebitsch stressed the supposedly unbridgeable spiritual-corporeal differences between Jews and Germans.121
The Deutsche Zeitung, the organ of the Pan-German, radical volkisch wing of the German Nationalist People's party or DNVP, likewise deemed Bloem's book dangerous enough to warrant at least two substantial essays. On 12 November 1922, Hermann Engelbrecht lamented both Bloem's political conversion and his allegedly misguided idealization of the Jews in Brotherhood. "All in all: a glorification of the Jewish noble-race [Edelrassel], an abasement of the German! Bloem is one of the many who do not want to admit the racial teachings!" Engelbrecht felt it tragic that a man like Bloem, "who had earlier written good German, submits to the spirit of the time and slanders and denies his German Volkstum, to which he belongs by blood. "122 Another article, published in the same paper about two weeks later, expressed agreement with a number of Bloem's demands. But Bloem had gone beyond these points, transforming his fiction into a lead article for the Roter Tag. The fashion in which Bloem motivated the students' stand toward the Jews was especially libelous.123
It is worth noting that Brotherhood made a bitter enemy for Bloem in the Nazi ideologist, Alfred Rosenberg. This emnity would cause Bloem considerable hardship in the early years of the Third Reich. Der Weltkampf, Rosenberg's journal for the international fight against Jewry, printed a vicious essay on Bloem in 1926 on the occasion of the novel's serialization in the Israelitisches Familienblatt. The essay's author, likely Rosenberg himself, advised Bloem to adopt a "beautiful little Jew or, in case he should have a daughter, to lay her in the bed of a rabbi as a wife. That would be the heroic confirmation of his brotherhood."124 In his autobiography, Bloem reported how Rosen berg pictured him in the Volkischer Beobachter, with a Jewish woman on his right and a Negro woman on his left arm, extending a brotherly kiss to both.125
The press with ties to the DNVP (or to the far right of the German People's party or DVP) avoided this kind of base, ad hoariness vituperation while reviewing Brotherhood. But German Nationalist organs generally rejected the novel's philosernitic intentions, its critique of the corps and of the Wilhelmine order, and its plea for acceptance of the Republic. The Neue Preussische (Kreuz-) Zeitung, the journalistic citadel of old conservatism, described Brotherhood as convincingly written, but lacking in depth. According to the paper's critic, Bloem favored assimilation of the Jews, which made the book hard to enjoy for those of another opinion.126 The Deutsch Allgemeine Rundschau accused Bloem of having written a demoralizing novel, based on an inaccurate, damaging portrait of academic life.127 The Suddeutsche Zeitung made a similar judgment on Bloem's book, while also objecting to the "one- sided" idealization of the Jews and denigration of the anti-Semites.128 The Munchen-Augsburger Zeitung, "the house organ" of the DNVP in Bavaria, had no more use for Bloem's Brotherhood than for Dinter's Sin Against the Blood. The review, riddled with studied sarcasm, criticized Bloem's superficial handling of the problems and his portrait of the representative of the V61kische Strobel, as a coward.129
Important interest groups near to the DNVP were often even more hostile to the novel. The critic Stolting in Der deutsche Kaufmann im Auslande struck a racialist note. Stblting insisted that a reader, despite Bloem's convincing prose, can feel the "yawning gap between the Aryan and Semitic races." Stolting found the novel's conciliatory ending to be contrived-an unprejudiced reader would lay the book down with the consciousness "that a civil truce is never the ideal of true brotherhood."130 A newspaper tied to the Agrarian League (Bund der Landwirte), the Schwabische Tageszeitung, also condemned the novel from a moderate racialist standpoint. The Stuttgart daily was "disgusted" with the book, which it regarded as no more a work of art, if better written, than its counter-piece, Dinter's Sin Against the Blood. Especially objectionable was Bloem's devastating portrait of Strobel,
Whoever has read this place knows what stands in the whole novel. Each of the figures in the novel who steps in for Jewish-German "brotherhood" is boundlessly idealized, each opponent of this general intermingling of the races is drawn as a lout or as an idiot.131
At the best, German nationalist organs damned the novel with faint praise. The Weser-Zeitung, influenced by nationalist-minded heavy industrialists, neither approved of nor criticized Bloem's position on the Jewish question. It simply quoted the passage in which Hans Joachim ruled out the possibility of a pogrom and demanded opening up the gates to Jews of good will. Bloem's description of the stultification of the corps was found to be somewhat exaggerated.132Of papers close to the DNVP, only the Schlesische Zeitung was reasonably sympathetic to the novel. This prestigious old newspaper pursued at least the semblance of independence, describing itself as "Christian national." Even the Schlesische Zeitung could not shake the clearly unpleasant impression that Bloem's sympathies "stand chiefly on the side of the Jews, in general as in particular." Yet, the SZ review ended on a fairly upbeat note:
And yet the central thought of his [Bloem's] book is that of reconciliation, his intention the strengthening of the national idea. It means the artistic mastery of an exactly so difficult as timely material, and ranks in its literary value with that which Bloem wrote earlier.133
Aside from hostile reviews in the right-wing press, Bloem was, by his own account, subjected to a largely subterranean, mouth-to-mouth "counter- propaganda" campaign. This "negative oral propaganda," as Bloem described it, lasted long beyond 1922-1923 and appears to have stamped Bloem as a renegade. The rumors soon took an ugly, personal turn. For example, when Bloem divorced and remarried in 1923, false rumors spread that his new bride was a rich Jew.134 It is worth adding that Bloem was again required to submit to a court of honor by his officer's association. As in the case of the Teutonian and Lusatian courts of honor, Bloem was absolved, but the affair left him with deep psychological scars.135
Brotherhood clearly failed in its goal of implanting a new outlook in the corps and in the German Right as a whole. It did affect the thinking of individuals and small groups within nationalist circles. It might have been far more successful in weakening the grip of antisernitism on the right if it had won strong support from a nationalist party or association of weight, which would have resulted in wider distribution and greater receptivity to the novel. The resultant success would likely have inspired imitators among writers and publicists. But the organs of the right were all but uniformly hostile to the novel. Readers of the novel were warned not to take its philosemtic message seriously; potential readers were scared off. Antisemitism and hostility toward the Republic ran much too deep for any single book, especially one without organizational backing, to have much of a lasting impact.
Bloem's political avowal had a fateful, destructive effect on his own career. His unhappy experiences with Brotherhood were not likely to inspire other right-wing authors to try their hand at philosernitic fiction. These experiences contributed to Bloem's own reconversion after 1930 to extreme nationalism. Brotherhood permanently alienated from Bloem the political groups and social strata that had hitherto made up the bulk of his readership. The resultant financial and emotional strains were severe.136 Bloem, in his unpublished, postSecond World War autobiography, himself interpreted the publication of Brotherhood as "the great turning point" in his life.137 Bloem felt that the novel had set the last half of his life on a precipitous downhill slide. It "hurled me with a jolt from the light to the shadow side of life"; it began the process by which Bloem was turned "from a favorite of the nation to a whipping boy."138
Brotherhood damaged Bloem's literary career and thus his pocketbook by incurring the lasting wrath of the nationalist circles from which he had drawn the readers (and hence buyers) of his books.139 From 1912 to 1922, Bloem, clearly due to his appeal to the nationalist middle strata, was most probably the best-seller of the German book trade. His popularity on the book market made him a rich man. But the right-wing press and "whispering" campaign evoked by his novel turned off nationalist readers, booksellers, and publishers.140 As Bloem himself would later put it, "the part of my reader community, once numbering many hundreds of thousands, which had not fallen or been impoverished, now gave me up."141 Bloem's earlier novels, including Brotherhood, had in most cases ultimately gone into printings of over one-hundred thousand. Apparently only one of his books first published after 1922 transcended forty thousand.142 Some of his novels printed in the years 1922 to 1933 appear to have been dismal failures on the book market.143
There is also evidence of a de facto boycott of Bloem's plays and prose pieces by nationalist theaters and newspapers. His play, Heroes of Yesterday, for example, reportedly enjoyed a successful premiere. But the hostility of the right prevented it from being taken over by other stages.144 In 1924, the Deutsch-osterreiche Tageszeitung refused to accept a Bloem article on the "national drama." The editorial staff, Dr. Karl Hans Strobl wrote Bloem, "does not wish to bring any contribution by you, because of your known stance in the matter of the Jewish question in the German corps."145 As shall be shown in the larger study of which this is a part, Bloem was especially hard hit by the drop in book sales and by the contracting market for his other literary pieces because the inflation and depression all but wiped out his earlier fortune.
The bitter antagonism, extending to Bloem personally, evoked by Brotherhood in right-wing circles also had severe emotional repercussions for Bloem. It was for these circles that Bloem had always written and in whose good opinions he put the most stock. Bloem's artistic creativity and peace of mind was obviously closely tied to a sense of integration with the nationalist middle strata in general and the Bildungsburgertum in particular. Bloem was emotionally unprepared to assume the icy mantle of the writer as critical outsider. As he later admitted, Bloem craved love and friendship, particularly from those to whom he was bound by background and ideals.146 In his autobiography, Bloem would write how he had been horrified by the "white glowing" animosity suddenly emerging, thanks to his novel, in groups of the population hitherto near to him:
I am not suited at all to be a martyr! I did not think to be able to five in the thought that the world for which I had done so infinitely much viewed me suddenly as an outlaw, an apostate, a renegade and-when it could do so without personal collision with me!-also handled me as such!147
Bloem was particularly appalled by the hatred for him aroused by his book among "the two anchors" of his life-the soldiers (veterans as well as active types) and the dueling fraternities.148
Bloem did not achieve a feeling of integration with nor did he build up anything like a compensatory audience out of the segments of the population loyal to the DVP or to the parties of the Weimar coalition. Bloem's Brotherhood was favorably reviewed by many newspapers and journals to the left of the DNVP, especially by the organs of the DVP and of political Catholicism (i.e., of the Center and Bavarian People's parties). However, neither liberals nor socialists nor Catholics felt entirely comfortable with Bloem's national conservatism. Those most enthusiastic about the novel were the Jews; the novel was actually reprinted in whole or in part in Jewish periodicals. Jewish critics were troubled, however, by the attenuation of the philosemitic thesis of the novel through antisernitic stereotypes and the portrayal of the central "Jewish" character as baptized.
Bloem's attitudes toward the Republic and the Jews more closely resembled the position of the DVP in 1922 than that of any other major party of the time. A key DVP paper, the Zeitung, noted the close similarity between the program of the People's party and Hans Joachim's demand that the Republic be recognized as the will of the masses.
Brought from the novelistic German of theory into the wording of a real politician, this avowal coincides approximately with the attitude of our German People's Party, which, faithful to its principle of "the fatherland over the party," voted for the draft of the Law for Protection of the Republic, after it had addended a number of necessary changes.149
The Wiesbaden DVP paper acknowledged Bloem's credentials as Germany's most militaristic author, and expressed admiration for the nationalist sentiment and the love of the corps manifest in his novel. The review was critical on some points but finished up by declaring that Brotherhood "deserved to be raised to [the status of] a German book of warning and education, to the parole of the German reconstruction."150
Other papers linked to the DVP had a good opinion of the novel. The Magdeburgische Zeitung, an independent newspaper close to the DVP and staunchly opposed to all political extremism, found the book's conclusion overly facile and contrived, but approved Bloem's goals and conceded that he had "laid bare the roots of the evil."151 The Kattowitzer Zeitung agreed with Bloem's attack on racial hatred and disunity. The DVP organ did criticize what it saw as Bloem's probable overestimation of the corps's capacity for self- renewal. But the paper's review concluded with a glowing tribute to Brotherhood: "An inwardly true, strong and amiable book, born out of love for Germandorn and filled up with hope for the inner rebirth of the German Volk!"152
Another major DVP organ, the Hildesheimer Allgenreine Zeitung (HAZ), devoted a long front-page article to the book. The HAZ had dispatched Nathaniel Junger's radical volkisch thesis novel, Volk in Gefahr!, in the same place only the year before. Now, the HAZ proclaimed, Bloem's book has appeared, whether by chance or destiny, at the very instant Rathenau's murder has shown the poisonous nature of antisernitism. Its purpose, the HAZ noted with approval, is, in contrast to that of Jungers to heal the Volk from its deluded emnity toward the Jews. "Therefore a philosemitic book, friendly to the Jews, and its author is one of our most distinguished and at the same time most national German novelists: Walter Bloem." After quoting Hans Joachim's program for reeducating the Jews, the HAZ expressed the hope that Bloem's novel would find the widest possible following.153
Brotherhood was widely reviewed and well received in all branches of the Catholic press. Bloem's previous two novels (Gottesferne and Herrin), which had reflected Bloem's new sympathy for the Roman church, had already won him a sympathetic ear among Catholics.154 His glorification of the Catholic social movement in Brotherhood predisposed Catholic critics toward this book too. Almost all organs of political Catholicism, however, expressed reservations about parts of Bloem's program, especially about his confidence in the corps's potential for self-renewal. Theo Hoffmann, writing in Leuchtturm, alone among Catholic spokesmen shared Bloern's faith in the political vitality of the German fraternities. Hoffmann hailed Bloem's novel enthusiastically from the standpoint of the Catholic youth associations and he insisted that the example of the Catholic corporations proved the capacity for renewal in the academic associations in general. The principles of the corporations remain valid; "what we fight against in them is indeed the unessential, the rubbish, the red tape."155 Hoffmann also pointed to Bloem's "panegyric" (Hochlied) to Dr. Sonnschein's social efforts:
The book extols genuine volkisch work, not in the sense of a desolate antisemitism, which indulges itself in wild declamations and, directly blinded by the slogan "Aryan," lets like an animal breeder only race matter, only the blood, not spirit, not soul.... All in all, a book of genuine criticism, but full of optimism, with something to say to those of us who wish not to destroy but to renew the existing from within.156
The relatively conservative Bavarian Catholic press also endorsed Bloem's novel, although without completely identifying with Bloem's program. In the Bayerischer Kurier, the Munich organ of the BVP, the critic Georg Lutz insisted that Bloem's book had pursued a justified thesis in its attack on the antisernitic, calcified, and exclusive corps. "One is sympathetically impressed," Lutz continued, "by the recognition of the paradigmatic nature of the Catholic students in religious, scientific, and social life." Lutz had some (mainly aesthetic) reservations, claiming that Bloem had not completely succeeded in reconciling art and message.157 The Augsburger Postzeitung was pretty much noncommittal, but it did praise the development of the novel up to the ending, which was seen as illogical but pleasing due to the pivotal role played by the Catholic spiritual advisor. The Bayerische Volkszeitung described Bloem's portrayal of the Catholic student movement as positive and his treatment of the Jewish question as containing "some pertinent words." The Frankische Volksblatt found the book's fight against the domination of the corps highly interesting and recommended it to others, especially to academics.158
The press of the Center party wished Brotherhood a wide circulation and a deep impact. The Kolnische Volkszeitung-along with Germania (notably silent about Brotherhood), one of the party's two truly supra-regional organs- considered the novel form to be especially suitable for tendency of Bloem's sort; fiction permitted a number of positions to be laid forth through dialogue. According to the paper's critic, Dr. Jos. Froberger, Brotherhood marked a great change in entertainment literature. He found it a slight loss to art and a great gain for the people when fiction was used for educational purposes:
The pure idealism which speaks out of this work, fraught as it is with cultural-historical meaning, the great courage of the author in pursuit of the truth that lets him acknowledge without envy the high spiritual forces in the Catholic student and especially in the social student movement, the hot yearning for a cultivation of the rising intellectual generation in Germany, raise this novel high above that which one commonly calls entertainment literature.159
The regional press of the Center endorsed Bloem's stand in his fiction against calcified tradition and racialism in the corps. The Bonn Deutsche Reichszeitung found Bloem's indictment of current corps life worthy of Recognition.160 The Munsterischer Anzeiger was far stronger in its approbation, hailing Brotherhood as "the" student novel. The paper's reviewer, a Dr. Contzen, ajudged Bloern's treatment of the Jewish question to be especially meaningful. "Might Bloem's suggestions," Contzen concluded, "fall on fruitful ground! That would be the finest success which could be allotted to the new Bloem."161 Part of the review in the Badischer Beobachter was actually a reprint of an essay apparently first published in the left-liberal Berliner MorgenZeitung.162 The remainder of the review, written by Dr. Gregor, was well-nigh ecstatic in its praise for Bloem's book, characterizing Brotherhood as a virtual apology "for us Catholics." Brotherhood, Gregor summed up, "is a signpost and brings clarity to all seekers. Written from life for life it almost loses the character of the novel. It is reality."163
Of the three main Catholic literary-political journals-Hochland, Der Gral, and Stimmen der Zeit-the last two reviewed Brotherhood. Dr. Georg Hayn, in Der Gral, described the novel as "doubtless a thesis novel in a good sense; it would like to do its bit to heal the wounds, to bring about reconstruction." Hayn was impressed both by Bloem' s portraits of Dr. Hohmann and two Catholic coeds and by his tributes to Catholic religiosity and social work as the prerequisites for German rebirth. Hayn did wonder if the novel would make much of an impression on the circles at whom it was mainly aimed. He also doubted whether Bloem had penetrated deeply enough into the problems of the time. Clearly lacking Bloem's belief in the fundamental soundness of the corps, Hayn criticized the novel's end with its "reconciliation pathos."164 Like Der Gral, the Stimmen der Zeit was largely positive in its evaluation of the novel, but also by no means identified itself completely with Bloem's standpoint. Bloem's position on the Jewish question, which opposed racialism while imputing "certain congenital and . . . persecution-evoked failings to his Jewish hero," was implicitly approved by the journal's critic. This reviewer pointed out that the novel's notion of brotherhood was in the first line "national German." But he noted, with transparent satisfaction, the seeds of expansion to the wider community of nations envisioned by Christ.165
Reactions to Bloem's Brotherhood varied greatly in the left-liberal press. Indeed, there was universal approval for Bloem's stand against radical volkisch antisernitism and petrified tradition. But there was some disagreement as to the aesthetic worth of the book. More significantly from the political standpoint, left-liberal critics differed as to their degree of skepticism towards Bloem's nationalconservative program. It is worth noting that the most influential democratic dailies were the least receptive to the art or message of Brotherhood. Neither the Frankfurter Zeitung nor the Vossische Zeitung appear to have even reviewed the novel. 166 The Berliner Tageblatt (BT), owned by the Mosse concern, applauded Bloem's handling of the Jewish problem, but disparaged his belief that the corps would lead the way to a halcyon future:
Vividly and with clear glaze.... [Bloem] ... dwells upon the Jewish question, and with great seriousness he demands of academic youth that they engage themselves with understanding in the social and political sense. He hopes for fulfillment of his wishes-that a Volk brotherhood will develop from the corps brotherhood. We do not believe it. The rebirth will not ensue from above to below, [but] only from below to above.... The corps will, in spite of the encouragement of the dear Old Boy, Walter Bloem, continue to cut themselves off from below. They are ruins from the age of castles, decked out in colored ribbons. The street of the world passes them by. However, Bloem's optimism and manner of thinking remain welcome.167
Karl Wurzburger took a similar stance toward Brotherhood in the January-February issue of the periodical Vivos Voco. This Journal for New Germandom, edited by Hermann Hesse and Richard Woltereck, was aimed more at inner than political renewal. Yet its orientation on moral and cultural matters was much like that of the left-liberal organs. Wurzburger, while reviewing Brotherhood at length, praised Bloem for valuable observations and judgments, while bowing to the latter's sincerity. But like the BT and in contrast to Bloem, Wurzburger believed that the petrification of the academic associations was irretrievable. The corps were fated by their superficial "tautness [Strammheit]" and pride of place to play a destructive and decivilizing role in the life of the nation. Bloem's conciliatory ending was impossible because the corps were beyond reform; thus the conclusion resulted in a misrepresentation of the problem. The corps were inherently inimical to the very idea of brotherhood, and thus to both "spirit" and "love."168
On 23 June 1922, the Berliner Morgen-Zeitung published a sympathetic, if less than rave review of Brotherhood. By 1930 the most circulated daily in Germany, the Morgen-Zeitung (like the Berliner Tageblatt) belonged to the liberal-democratic Mosse concern.169 The Morgen-Zeitung catered to a mass audience and perhaps for this reason its review lacked the subtle political distinctions of the BT critique.170 Indeed, most of the Berliner Morgen- Zeitung review was a rather straightforward plot summary. This summary was couched in language that implied total approval of Bloem's fight against antisemitism. For example, the book's "catastrophe," the death of Ludwig Lowenstein was blamed on "antisernitism" in its "ugliest form." The critique ended with two sentences strongly suggesting the positive worth of Bloem's work.
The Dichtung [poetic work] dismisses us with the hope of a development of our academic youth, which would raise them to bearers of the thought of the Volk community and of the recovery from inner strife. The work glows from the strong belief in Germany's indestructible life force, which is the main feature of Walter Bloem's production.171
This review-usually with deletions, additions, or reformulationsappeared in at least twenty newspapers.172 Most of these, apart from the Berliner Morgen- Zeitung (where the review apparently first appeared), were regional or local papers, probably lacking in sufficient resources to maintain a fully independent feuifleton. By no means were all left-liberal, much less closely aligned with the DDP.173 For example, both the Center party's Badischer Beobachter and the Socialist party's Bremer Volksblatt used the review as part of longer essays tailored to the needs of their respective parties.174
Almost all of the provincial newspapers. changed certain parts of the review to tone down its unmistakable disparagement of antisemitism. These papers substituted a sentence devoid of value judgments where the Berliner Morgen-Zeitung had attributed the novel's tragedy to "antisemitism" in its "ugliest form." "But the current emnity [zeitlaufige Feindschaft] with which the greater part of our contemporary youth regard the Jews, turns with vehemence against the corps brother of Semitic lineage [Ludwig Lowenstein]."175 Some papers dropped the original review's last two affirmative sentences completely.176 Two edited the review so heavily that there was no mention of the Jewish question at all.177
The prestigious, moderate-liberal Konigsberger Hartungsche Zeitung (KHZ) approved the moral intent and the program of Brotherhood. However, Karl Herbert Kuhn, who reviewed the novel for the KHZ, gave the book low marks as a work of art. Kuhn, even compared Bloem with the much-parodied Hedwig Courths-Mahler.178 The KHZ, described by Thomas Mann as "the cultural paper of the Ostmark," plainly was unwilling to subordinate aesthetic considerations to political effectiveness.179 Ironically, Ludwig Goldstein, the half-Jewish leader of the KHZ feuilleton, read and was enthralled by Bloem's novel, but only much later after Hitler's seizure of power.180
It was the smaller, regional left-liberal papers that had the greatest appreciation of Bloem's art and message. The Neue badische Landeszeilung, the Mannheim organ of the DDP, praised the technical excellence displayed in Brotherhood as well as Bloem's efforts to combat the "senseless rages of the antisemites."181 The Karlsruher Tagblatt described Bloem as a Dichter, a value-charged word connoting a high estimation of his art. The Karlsruhe paper dealt with the novel in a column dedicated to political affairs rather than in the literary supplement. It justified this unusual step by pointing to the special relevance of the novel following Rathenau's assassination.182 A long review in the Breslauer Zeitung (BZ) was even more generous in its accolades for Bloem's book. The BZ also mentioned the timeliness of the book's appearance in the light of Rathenau's murder. According to the BZ, the novel-due to its exciting plot, rich characterization, and multifaceted setting- was fascinating as well as educational reading. Brotherhood deserves the strongest attention, although "in particular one would gladly see some things handled differently." It would have been preferable, for example, if Bloem had unequivocally stressed the purely theoretical, unproven nature of the racial teachings. "But the discussion and the daring of the ideas give to the work a claim to a special place among recent belletristic literature.183
No newspaper had a higher opinion of the political importance of Bloem's novel than the apparently democratic Montagsblatt in Prague. The Montagsblatt played Brotherhood off against Dinter's Sin Against the Blood. In a long essay, Dinter's novel on racial shame, "the newest Bible of German- Aryan antisemitism," was attacked as a "miserable, clumsy piece of work . . . that merely on the basis of its hollow language scarcely merits being called a German book." Only the worst enemies of the German people could rejoice over the success of this book, which had poisoned the souls of thousands. As the great counterweight to Dinter's book, the Montagsblatt cited Brotherhood"really one of the best German novels of the present"-by the "German National" writer Walter Bloem:
A great question for the destiny of the tormented German Volk must be solved: Here Dinter-here Bloem! [Which] should triumph, the dark hatred of those who wish to erode the German Volk inwardly and to make [it] incapable of resistance against its enemy, or . . . the pure belief of those like Walter Bloem who wish to lead the German Volk through truth to brotherhood and a better future.
The Montagsblatt underlined the special relevance of Bloem's work for Germans in Bohemia, where the populace had turned on the Jews. Already, the paper reported, Bloem's book had converted a good number of the most recalcitrant anti-Jewish agitators in Bohemia. Everyone concerned with Germany's future must read and disseminate the book.184
Bloem's Brotherhood seems to have been largely ignored by the organs of the Social Democratic party (SPD) which like Germania and the great liberal dailies, the Frankfurter Zeitung and Vossische Zeitung, chose to ignore rather than pan a novel that embedded philosernitism. and allegiance to the Republic in a national conservative framework. Vorwarts, the central organ of the SPD, Germany's most potent democratic party, did not review the novel at all. Only in December 1924, on the appearance of another Bloem. novel, The Land of Our Love, did Vorwarts note Bloem's readiness to support the Republic.185 The Socialist Volksstimme in Magdeburg, with a circulation of 45,000 in 1922, devoted a scant paragraph to Brotherhood, describing Bloem's attempt to work against engrained volkisch prejudices among the students. "The intention is in any case to be praised; whether it will succeed in reaching its goal one may doubt. The circles which Bloem wants to influence are not accessible to ethical admonitions."186 The Socialist party's Bremer Volksblatt expressed similar skepticism about the likelihood of realizing the sunny future envisaged by Bloem. The volkisch movement had too strong a hold on academic youth. Yet, the Volksblatt wished the novel a great readership, "especially among the working youth."187
In the Deutsche Republik, Dr. Herbert Hirschberg welcomed Bloem's critique of the outmoded corps and defense of the Jews. Hirschberg was impressed by Bloem's readiness to accept the fruits of the November Revolution-"In this recent poetic work the finally converted Walter Bloem-we ascertain it with joy-now also professes fully and completely [his loyalty] to the Republic." Hirschberg noted the storm among the Pan-Germans aroused by Bloem's speech at the end of the war and commented that with more leaders like Bloem the war might have been won. Hirschberg also approved of Bloem's attractive portraits of the Lowensteins and his denigrating delineation of the Volkische.188
According to Bloem, neither he nor his book were supported by the Republic's authorities. The Reich government, he reported in his autobiography, continued to view him as a militarist, nationalist, monarchist, and antisemitic. As a result, his works were removed from the People's and school libraries.189 There is no evidence that any Republican party tried to distribute the novel.
It is worth briefly recording at this point the reaction to Brotherhood in politically non-aligned periodicals aimed at those with an advanced taste for or professional interest in belles-lettres. These periodicals were important because they influenced the middlemen of the literary business-critics, teachers, publishers, booksellers. The trade organ of the train station booksellers reprinted the basically positive review of Bloem's novel from the Berliner Morgen-Zeitung. The Literarischer Handweiser emphatically endorsed Bloem's fictional counter to antisernitism. One of the period's most influential literary journals, Das literarische Echo, published a summary of the novel by Artur Brausewetter. Brausewetter clearly regarded Brotherhood as little more than cleverly contrived, crowd-pleasing entertainment. Less sympathetic still was the Deutsche Roman-Zeitung, an important purveyor of entertainment literature meant for the middle classes. The RomanZeitung found Bloem's "humane aims" admirable, but insisted that his oversimplified attribution of light to the Jews and dark to their enemies would be counterproductive. As hostile to the novel, although for totally nonpolitical reasons, was the Gross-Berliner neueste Nachrichten. This "Paper of the Berlin Society" demonstrated the total political irresponsibility of certain segments of the avant-garde by attacking Bloem's novel simply because its unflattering portraits of a pair of dancers had made artists "laughable."190
Jewish responses to Brotherhood were affected by how one balanced loyalties "to German nationalism and culture on the one hand and to Jewishness on the other."191 Apparently, Zionists ignored altogether a novel that encouraged Jews to become fully assimilated German nationalists and that mentioned Zionism only as the option to which Jewish characters veered when they were most bitter and discouraged. Letters to Bloem from readers suggest, however, that his novel had a tremendous impact on the "national Jews." These Jews, no matter what their precise political or religious affiliation, stressed the high value of their membership in the German nation. "National Jewish" readers closely identified with Ludwig Lowenstein his deep love for Germany and his tragic fate. One such Jewish reader wrote Bloem that Brotherhood had touched her deepest inner life. "For I belong to those Lowensteins who love their homeland with their whole soul and who are proud of their Germanness."192 Another, having read the serialized version of the novel in the Israelitisches Familienblatt, wrote: "I feel as a Jew, who will never deny his Germandom, double occasion to preserve towards you a deep gratitude."193 Erich Leyens, a much-decorated Jewish war hero, informed Bloem that Lowenstein was neither a fictional invention nor an isolated occurrence. Leyens gratefully reported to Bloem the enormous impact of Brotherhood. Leyens did warn that Bloem's attribution of anti-national qualities to the Jews might further rather than combat antisernitism.194
Even in the Third Reich, when Bloem himself had shifted his allegiance to Hitler, "national Jews" found Brotherhood a poignant statement of their own destiny. One Jewish youth recounted to Bloem how the coming to power of the Nazis had dashed his own career hopes and asked Bloem to take a stand for or against Brotherhood. "But why is Franconia today the whole of Germany, and why are there no more Eichholzes? Are the hundreds of thousands of Lowenstein destinies no longer worth having German men fight for them?"195 Ludwig Goldstein, a half-Jew and for many years the feuilleton author of the Konigsberger Hartungsche Zeitung, read Bloem's book only after 31 January 1933. In late 1934, Goldstein wrote Bloem that
already in the middle [of the novel] the deepest emotion gripped me, as I have only rarely experienced during the reading of a novel, and it became all the stronger the further I hurried to the end.... Permit one, who has always felt German to the core, but who is now tossed to the unGermans as a half-caste, to say with hearty assertion that your book has made the deepest impression not only on him, but on his whole environs.196
One "national Jewish" organ was not as unequivocal in its reaction to Brotherhood as these enthusiastic individual readers. The K. C. Blatter, the organ of the "Kartell Convent," reviewed Brotherhood in August 1922. The "Kartell Convent" was the umbrella association of the Jewish student corps. Its very statutes demanded combat against antisemitism and for the political and social equality of the Jews. The Jewish corps united in the K.C. defined themselves as "national Jewish," and thus rejected both total assimilation and Zionism.197 The K.C. was closely tied with the Central Union of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith (C.V.) "both in membership and ideology."198 The K. C. Blatter welcomed Bloem's novel as an aid in the battle against antisemitism, saying "It is a warning for those tumbling into the abyss, a call to awaken for the indifferent."199
However, the K. C. Bldtter added, there were instances where one could wring a false meaning, and which therefore had to be criticized. The national Jewish-minded K. C. Bldtter was particularly displeased by Bloem's contention that the Jews must be educated to the German 11 state idea." In reality, the K. C. organ scolded, the Jews have a far deeper love for the fatherland than the V61kische. Umbrage was also taken at Bloem's insistence on the full amalgamation of the Jews. Assimilation is only possible so long as it does not mean dissolutiondifferences and unique traits must be acknowledged and accepted.200
The organ of liberal Jewry, ,the Judisch-liberale Zeitung, reviewed Brotherhood at least twice. The first essay on the novel was written by Rabbi Dr. Dienemann and appeared on 1 September 1922. Dienemann took pleasure in the fact that a well-known author had dealt humanely with problems so often taken up in fiction by volkisch fanatics. Dienemann described Bloem's portrait of the corps as largely accurate and praised the novel's vision of a brotherhood based on will and desire rather than on race. Nevertheless, Dienemann contended, 11 praise and recognition may not make one blind to weaknesses and deficiencies. Some things are seen wrongly." Dienemann pointed to residual prejudices in Bloem's thinking and quarreled with the choice of a baptized Jew to represent Jews in general. The rabbi also criticized some of the psychological motivations attributed by Bloem to the Lowenstein, family, such as the "yearning of the son of the desert, of the nomad for Germanic rootedness, limitation, and form." Dienemann refused to believe that a family like the Lowensteins, who had given up Judaism, would feel any obligation to stand up for Jewish rights. Above all, the rabbi was dismayed by Bloem's explicit contrast of Christ with Moses and Wotan, which smacked of the age-old identification of Judaism with hatred and revenge. Although Dienemann wrote a great deal on the novel's shortcomings, he did wish that it and many more like it could be spread to every Christian house.201
In February 1923, the monthly supplement of the Judisch-liberale Zeitung published a second endorsement of Brotherhood, less adulterated by qualifications. This second essay, by Alfred Auerbach, admitted that "it is painful to the Jewish reader, that Bloem represents the young fighter just as baptized." Yet Auerbach went on to explain away this defect as a novelistic technical necessity, for only a Christianized Jew could believably gain admittance to the antisernitic corps. Auerbach paid glowing tribute to Bloem the man, lauding the latter's healthy, Rhineland warmth. "We all have reason to thank our fellow German citizen in the best sense for his deed."202 It should be added that the editorial staff of the Judisch-liberale Zeitung, shortly after Brotherhood's publication, actively sought a novella by Bloem on a Jewish theme for its feuilleton.203
Least sympathetic to Brotherhood among the Jewish organs was the Israelitisches Wochenblatt ffir die Schweiz. This Swiss weekly did credit Bloem with good intentions. It also gave its imprimatur to Bloem's fight against un-Christian racialism and class superiority. But the weekly's reviewer, identified only as "M.," dwelt on the demerits rather than on the merits of Brotherhood. According to "M.," Bloem, like all non-Jewish writers since Freytag, had drawn impossibly blurred Jewish characters. "M." was also disconcerted by the way Bloem had played off Christ against the symbols of revenge, Moses and Wotan. But -M." was most concerned about the alternative set up in the novel by Hans Joachim-either pogrom to the end or total acceptance of the Jews. While Hans Joachim (and Bloem) saw the first alternative as immoral and impossible, -M." feared that the V61kische might well come to the opposite conclusion.204
The Israelitisches Familienblatt paid Bloem's novel the ultimate compliment by reprinting it in 1925-1926. Earlier, in October 1922, the Familienblatt had carried a generally sympathetic review by Rabbi Dr. Dienemann. The Familienblatt occupied a neutral position among the Jewish factions.205 As in his earlier article in the Judisch-liberale Zeitung, Dienemann found some things wrong with Bloem's novel: the representative role of a baptized Jew; the unrealistic flirtation of assimilationist Jews with Zionism. Yet, Dienemann again hoped that the book would be widely read. "In spite of [the defects], the noble way of thinking, which speaks out from the book, is splendid; it is humanity and love of fatherland.,"206
The Familienblatt serialized Brotherhood but only after the novel had been purged of the "defects" marked by Dienemann and other Jewish critics. On 24 October 1925, the Familienblatt informed the Grethlein concern that Brotherhood had to undergo some editing before it could be reprinted. The special mentality of the paper's exclusively Jewish readership was given as the reason for these "unessential" changes.207 Bloem, in a letter dated 28 October agreed to bow to the special needs of the Jewish paper, but insisted on being informed and allowed to approve of any changes in advance.208 On 5 November 1925, the editors of Familienblatt sent Bloem a copy of Brotherhood with the projected changes penciled in. An accompanying letter explained and justified the changes.
The Familienblatt insisted in striking the depiction of Ludwig Lowenstein as baptized. "Otherwise the entire novel cannot be published by us. We stand upon the position that anyone who is baptized no longer belongs to Jewry [Judentum]." The Familienblatt also wanted to strike what it rightly regarded as essentially negative, stereotypic phrases and character traits. For example, the editorial staff asked to have a phrase describing Ludwig Lowenstein "Jewish vanity and assumption of airs," changed to read simply "vanity." "It would certainly injure our readers very much if we would blame all Jews for the vanity of Lowenstein." The Familienblatt further demanded cuts and rewording that would spare the religious sensibilities of readers, "many of whom are strict orthodox [Jews]." The editors apparently found Bloern's continual identification of Christianity with brotherhood, combined as it was with the juxtaposition of Jesus with Wotan and Moses, to be especially likely to offend Jewish readers. The Familienblatt pointed out that the changes were minor, little affecting "the course, content, tendency [thesis], and style of the novel." Yet, the editors made it clear that their suggestions were "unconditionally necessary."209
Bloem seems to have accepted the changes without protest. In early December 1925, the Familienblatt announced the impending appearance of the novel in the next issue of the "Jewish Library," the paper's literary supplement. The editors hoped that Bloern's work would contribute "to overcoming the disastrous splintering predominant in the German Volk."210 Shortly before, the Familienblatt had published a short essay by Bloem. in letter form, entitled "A Word to Brotherhood," specially written to introduce the novel's serialization.211 This letter reached a further audience when it was reprinted (on 24 December) in the CV-Zeitung, German Jewry's major organ for self-defense.212 Oddly enough, the Nazi Der Weltkampf also printed the letter verbatim as proof of Bloern's political apostasy.213
In his letter to the Familienblatt, Bloem stressed his commitment to securing unity for the whole German Volk. Bloem underscored his own deep love for Germany. But he criticized the one-sided emphasis on nationalism, which had been carried to absurd extremes in the (First) World War.
I am determined to develop my special quality as a German just as strongly and consciously as my [uniqueness] as ... [a native of the Rhineland].... But beyond the national borders, I have learned to feel since the war and through it to be a member of mankind as well as of my collective Volk, and indeed first of all to be [a member of humanity's] . . . "western" culture group.
Reflecting the impress of Oswald Spengler's ideas on his thinking, Bloem added that all white men, not only the Germans, "must stick together in the struggle for our cultural goods against the threatening submersion through barbarism." Bloem proclaimed his animosity to antisernitism as a "retrogressive confusion, detrimental to culture and development." Indeed, everyone who took part in German spiritual and moral life was German, no matter what his faith or religion.214
The serialization in the Familienblatt ran to the spring of 1926 and reportedly was positively received by all facets of German Jewry.215 The paper's editorial staff informed Bloem, on 1 April 1926, of its readiness "to publish a further work by you, insofar as it concerns itself with Jewish problems." The editors suggested to Bloem that he incorporate their changes in later editions of Brotherhood, geared for general consumption. In this way, the novel "would really deserve to be subscribed to by all circles of the German Volk, also by the Jewish. Such occasional sentences, which must be interpreted as unfriendhness, are however likely to make Jewish readers shy."216 In the event, Bloem. actually tried to incorporate the revisions made by the editorial staff of the Familienblatt in a new edition of Brotherhood planned in 1927. Only the tardiness of the Familienblatt in responding to Bloern's request for a listing of these revisions seems to have prevented the "people's edition" of 1927 from incorporating them.217
The reprint of "A Word to Brotherhood" in the CV-Zeitung (December 1925) inaugurated a period of mutual respect and friendly cooperation between Bloem and the Central Union of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith which was committed in equal measure to defense against antisernitism and "loyalty to Germany." Already in August 1924, the paper had praised Brotherhood, contrasting it with antisernitic novels like Fritz Halbach's Genosse Levi.218 In July 1927, the CV-Zeitung solicited an article from Bloem for a special issue on the theme, "Influences of Jewry upon German Culture."219 Bloem had to decline this invitation, since he had just returned from a trip around the world. But, in a letter of July 18, he expressed his support for the goals of the Central Union. "Indeed you know that your statutes have my full approval and that I have the most lively interest in the final opening-up of a relationship between our Jewish and non- Jewish fellow citizens that will be worthy of both parts."220 As a substitute for the solicited article, the CV-Zeitung asked for and received permission to publish this letter by Bloem.221
On the occasion of Bloern's sixtieth birthday (which took place on 20 June 1928), the chairman of the Central Union sent a particularly warm congratulatory letter. Bloem replied in a fairly long note of gratitude: "On my way I have had to experience so much rejection and emnity from the various sides that it was a true refreshment of the heart for me to receive on this day of looking back so many voices which prove that I have not worked and struggled in vain." Bloem vowed to fight on against divisive forces and remarked that German Jewry had contributed to and would continue to further the German idea.222 Two days after the birthday, Herbert Eulenburg paid tribute in the CV-Zeitung to Brotherhood, with its "new German ideal for the future, the 'will to Volkheit.' that is the selfless love for an German citizens, whatever estate or belief they might be, to whatever class or race they might belong."223
Ironically, during the next months Bloem became embroiled in two disputes in the pages of the CV-Zeitung. The first arose from completely opposing attitudes toward the student corps and the social strata from which they were recruited. The second revolved around Bloern's definition of nationhood which, while based on an idealist rather than racist vd1kisch standpoint, nonetheless differed from the liberal, statist definition of German citizenship favored by the C.V. Quite possibly these controversies made Bloem, on the one side, and the bourgeois democrats and liberal Jewry, on the other, aware of the depth of their ideological disagreement.224
At any rate, Bloem was painfully aware of mixed reviews of his "brotherhood" novel in the Republican and Jewish press.225 He had unrealistically expected the book to be hailed with uniform enthusiasm by the press left of the DNVP. The actual reception bitterly disappointed him. On a number of occasions after 1933, he described with transparent displeasure how the "Ebert circles" had failed to support him.226 He was enraged when Republican authorities, attacking him as "an antisemite, a monarchist, and a war-monger," took actions against his works. Bloem felt betrayed and isolated by the failure of the democratic press and authorities to push Brotherhood without reservation. "So I, who had bravely taken up the gauntlet for ... [the German democracy], lost any protection from behind and ultimately stood abandoned and isolated, at least in public."227 Bloem had striven to reconcile nationalists to the Republic; he was appalled to find himself "between the two stools." "From both sides," he wrote in answer to Rocholl in 1923, "1 am in part spit upon, in part killed by silence."228 In the long run, Bloern's discontent with the critics' reception of his book weakened his resistance to the most virulent of right- wing viruses, anti-Republicanism and antisemitism. In 1933, Bloem justified his renunciation of his own novel in a letter to a young Jew victimized by the Third Reich:
My novel, Brotherhood, found in its time in no way the kind of reception among Jews which it might have expected. The great Jewish press [i.e., the great liberal dailies] as good as killed it by silence; the press of the rabbis [the actual organs of organized Jewry] made it clear to me that I understood nothing of Jewry, for baptized Jews were in general not Jews at all.229
Ironically, then, a book aimed at winning the German right for the Republic helped ultimately to win its author for Hitler. The democratic press showed a characteristic lack of publicistic imagination in not pushing Bloern's novel hard. Only such a book was likely to convert vd1kisch and German Nationalist rank-and-file away from antisernitism and to at least tacit recognition of the Republic.230Moreover, a golden opportunity to cement the allegiance of the nation's then most popular author to the Republic had been missed. For his part, Bloem was shortsighted and politically immature in his failure to foresee and to accept criticisms from groups and parties that did not share his faith in national conservatism, and hence in the future benign role of the fraternities. But the roots of the misunderstanding go deeper than publicistic unimaginativeness on the one side and hypersensitivity on the other. Neither Bloem nor the Republican feuilletons fully understood that policy, class, and ideological differences were secondary to agreement on a constitutional framework that was, however imperfectly, grounded in and protective of certain fundamental moral and legal-political principles, including the proposition that men are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights. Neither side completely recognized that these important but secondary conflicts could be managed successfully within a social partnership dedicated to defending civilized public order.
Bloern's career after Brotherhood can be briefly sketched and was much influenced by the novel's legacy.231 He generally continued to toe the political line laid down in the novel until the late twenties. But the financial and psychological stresses born of the book's aftermath helped to prepare Bloem for reconversion to anti-Republican nationalism in the last years of the Weimar era. During the twilight before the dark night of the Third Reich, Bloem was elected head of both the German section of the PEN-Club and of the Protective Association of German Writers. Undoubtedly the legacy of Brotherhood furthered Bloern's election to these posts. All sides perceived him as being "between the stools." Ultimately, Bloem resigned from his offices at the center of bitter political storms, which partly caused and partly stemmed from his realignment with the nationalist mainstream. His resignations were a turning point in the history of the efforts of German writers to organize. themselves professionally. Henceforth, these organizations were utterly politicized; they would soon prove an easy mark for Nazi efforts to transform them into instruments of totalitarian repression.
In the first months of the Third Reich, Bloem played a key role in transforming the independent Protective Association of German Writers into the Reich Literature Chamber (Reichsschriftumskammer), the lynchpin of Joseph Goebbels's literary dictatorship. Afterwards, Bloem served the Nazis with his pen. In writings tainted with the very racial poison that he had once bravely attacked, he strove to reconcile the "Old Nationalists" (whose chief literary mouthpiece he had once been) to Hitler.232 Ironically, Brotherhood kept Bloem from enjoying the fruits of his late attachment to the victorious Hitler juggernaut. Alfred Rosenberg never forgave Bloem for his philosemitic novel. Bloem remained something of an outsider under the Nazi regime, at least until 1938, when Goebbels's intervention enabled him to join the NSDAP. During World War Il, Bloem despite his advanced age went on active duty and helped the war effort as speaker and writer. He was conscience stricken by particular Nazi atrocities but did nothing to expose or stop them. He regarded the events of 20 July 1944, the great hour of the German resistance, as the work of traitors. The moral suicide of this once honest man was complete. After the war, he was acquitted by a de-Nazification tribunal, which was puzzled by the troubling question of how the author of Brotherhood had come to swim with the Brown tide. Bloem, once the nation's most popular entertainment novelist, died in 1951, partly scorned but mostly forgotten.
I am grateful to the Earhart Foundation and the German Academic Exchange Service for funding my research. I am thankful to Dr. Gerhard Weinberg who supervised my original work on Bloem and to the guidance of Drs. Ruth Angress, Henry Friedlander, and Sybil Milton in making revisions. Professor Robert Heywood provided a helpful commentary on the preliminary version of this article delivered as a paper at the 12th Great Lakes History Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1986). Special appreciation is owed to Marsha Boehmke for her accomplished typing.
1. Other nationalist authors occasionally also opposed antisernitism in their fiction: for example, Ernst Wiechert and Ernst Puschel, but they had few readers and little impact. Ernst Wiechert, "Die Gebarde," in Samtliche Werke, 10 vols. (Vienna, Munich, and Basel, 1943) 7: 608; Ernst Puschel, Die Juden von Kronburg: Ein Buch von deutschem Volks- und Menschentum. Roman (Neudietendorff, 1924). See also: Sumner Kirschner, "'Even If They Were Guilty': An Unpublished Letter by Ernst Wiechert about the Jews," German Life and Letters: A Quarterly Review 23 (1970): 142-43; Ernst Puschel, "Die wahre Volkische Gesinnung," CVZeitung 3 (4 Dec. 1924): 769.
2. Judgments about comparative sales statistics must take into account the flawed but useful German Studies in America, vol. 2: Donald Ray Richards, The German Bestseller in the 20th Century: A Complete Bibliography and Analysis, 1915-1940 (Berne, 1968). See also: Ernst L6wy, Literatur unterm Hakenkreuz: Das Dritte Reich und seine Dichtung. Eine Dokumentation (Frankfurt, 1966), p. 307; Stadt Biicherei Wuppertal, Nachlass Walter Bloem, [hereafter cited as Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal)], file 22: Erich Leyens to Bloem, 3 Mar. 1923.
4. The word vd1kisch is an adjective derived from the noun Volk. This noun can be translated as people, nation, or folk, although no such translation captures its full meaning in nineteenth- and twentieth-century political usage. Volk connoted a people organized along national lines and somehow organically fused together. Many political thinkers considered the Volk to be the ultimate political reality, a not unnatural development in a people that had to define nationhood in other than statist terms before 1871. Those who posited the Volk as the center of sociopolitical life-and who thus tended to call themselves vd1kisch-differed as to what was the cement of the Volk. Some saw the medium of fusion as blood (the racialists), some as religion, some as culture, and some as shared ideals. Around 1912, a movement was bom that called itself the vd1kisch, or German movement. This movement propounded a racialist ideology and ultimately issued into Nazism. Indeed, it can quite properly be termed proto-Nazism. Since many others who did not adhere to this movement called themselves vd1kisch, I prefer (following Uwe Lohalm) to term it and its heir, Nazism, vd1kisch radicalism. Those who adhered to revolutionary conservatism, which posited the Volk as the ultimate sociopolitical reality but which rejected the primacy of race, might be termed vd1kisch conservatives. Bloern's Reform Conservatism of 1918-1928 is vd1kisch conservative. See Uwe Lohalm, VdIkischer Radikalismus: Die Geschichte des Deutschvdlkischen Schutz- und Trutz-Bundes 1919-1933 (Hamburg, 1970); George Mosse, The Crisis of German Ideology: Intellectual Origins of the Third Reich (New York, 1964); Klaus Scholder, Die Kirchen und das Dritte Reich, Vol. 1: Vorgeschichte und Zeit der Illusionen 1918-1934 (Frankfurt, Berlin, and Vienna, 1977), pp. 93-109.
5. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 6/29: [Walter Bloem], untitled Auto- biographical Sketch for the Celebration of Bloern's Fiftieth Birthday [hereafter cited as Autobiographical Sketch], n.d. , pp. 1-5; Freiburg, Bundesarchiv-Militdrchiv, Nachlass Bloem, [hereafter cited as Nachlass Bloem (Freiburg)], Record Group N31, file 10: Bloem to Georg Engel, 15 Apr. 1915; ibid.: Dr. Schmalz, "Findbuch N31, Dr. Walter Bloem [Guide to Bloem Nachlass with biographical data]," 19 July 1966; Hermann A. L. Degener, Wer ist's? (Berlin, 1928), p. 142; Terrell Carver, Engels (New York, 1981), pp. 3-5; Walter Bloem and others, "Warum werden lhre Biicher viel gelesen? Das Ratsel des Publikumserfolges," Die literarische Welt 4, no. 19 (1928): 3.
6. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 6/29: Autobiographical Sketch, pp. 5-11; ibid.: [Bloeml to the Verlag Rheinische Heimat (Dr. Heinrich Ohlers), 10 May 1928; Walter Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch erstes bis achtes Kapitel, Seite 180-298" [fragment of Bloern's unpub- lished autobiography, written shortly after World War 111, p. 271; ibid., file 8: Walter Bloem, "Eine Freiburger Theatererrinerung: Dazu allerlei Grundsatzhches," p. 1; Bloem, "Warum werden Ihre Bilcher viel gelesen?," p. 3.
7. Bloern's first novel dealt with the student corps. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 6/29: [Bloeml, Autobiographical Sketch, pp. 9-11; Walter Bloem, Der krasse Fuchs: Roman (Leipzig and Zurich, 1906 [19321); Werner Hegemann, "Walter Bloem contra Heinrich Mann," Das Tage- buch 13 (1932): 1590-91. For a sales history of the war trilogy, see: Bloem, "Wartun werden Ihre Bdcher viel gelesen?," p. 3; Nachlass Bloem (Freiburg), RG N31, file 1: Walter Bloem, "Lebenslauf," (copy of a letter from Generalstab des Feldheeres im Auftrage des Herm Hauptsmarms Bloem to Schriftleitung von Dennerts Konversationslexikon, Prof. Dr. Dennert), 19 Apr. 1916; ibid.: Dr. Schmalz, "Findbuch N31"; Bibliogra- phische Abteilung des Bbrsenvereins der deutschen Buchhandler zu Leipzig, comp., Deutsches Biicherverzeichnis: Eine Zusammenstellung der im deutschen Buchhandel erschienenen Bacher, Zeitschriften und Landkarten mit einem Stich- und Schlagwort-register, 40 vols. published by 1970 (Leipzig, 1916-1970) 23:490. After his breakthrough to popularity, Bloern's earlier works also became bestsellers: Der krasse Fuchs had gone into a respect- able but unspectacular 12,000 copies in the period 1906 to 1910. The total in print shot up to at least 50,000 by 1913, 112,000 by 1922, 176,000 by the fall of 1932. Heinrich Conrad, comp., Christian Gottlob Kaysers vollstdn- diges Biicher-Lexikon: Ein Verzeichnis der seit dem Jahre 1750 im deutschen Buchhandel erschienenen Biicher und Landkarten, vol. 53 (Leipzig, 1911): 292-93; Deutsches Biicherverzeichnis 1: 342; 7: 390.
8. The following Bloem books (almost all novels) came out in first editions of fifty thousand copies each: Volk wider Volk (1912); Die Schmiede der Zukunft (1913); Das verlorene Vaterland (1914); Vormarsch (?); Gottesferne (1920); Herrin (1921); Briiderlichkeit (1922). See Deutsches Biicherverzeichnis 1: 342; 6: 312; 7: 390. For Bloern's popularity, see Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 6/29: [Bloem], Autobiographical Sketch, p. 112; Bloem, "Warum werden lhre Buecher viel gelesen?," p. 3; Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," pp. 240-45. Bloem described himself as the best-selling author on the German book market: ibid., file 22: Bloem to Hermann Hestermann, 26 Apr. 1949. According to Friedrich Albrecht, the belletristic field in the years before the outbreak of World War I was ruled by "apologists for the Empire" like Bloem. Deutsche Schriftsteller in der Entscheidung: Wege zur Arbeiterklasse 1918-1933 (Berlin and Weimar, 1970), p. 22. Kaiser Wilhelm II, on numerous occasions, summoned Bloem. to talk over the latter's books. Herbert Eulenberg, "Walter Bloem zurn 60. Geburtstag (20. Juni 1928)," CV-Zeitung 17 (22 June 1928): 356. The inside back flaps of later editions of the Franco-Prussian War trilogy contain ecstatic reviews of the novels from the major liberal dailies: Walter Bloem, Das eiserne Jahr: Roman (Leipzig, 1912); Walter Bloem, Die Schmiede der Zukunft (Leipzig, 1913), pp. 513-14; Walter Bloem, Volk wider Volk: Roman (Leipzig, 1912).
9. The decisiveness of the war for Bloern's polifical development as well as his career in the army reserves, his reaction to the August days, his combat record, and his exemplary heroism are documented in: Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 65: [Bloeml to Dr. Harald Oldag, 2 Apr. 1925; file 22: Moritz Schauenburg to Herr Dreecken, 30 Jan. 1946; ibid.: Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," pp. 182-83; Nachlass Bloem (Freiburg), RG N31: Dr. Schmalz, "Findbuch N31"; RG N31, file 26: "Stammliste"; RG N31, file 4: Walter Bloem, "Keine Verbitterung! [typescript of war article for unidentified journal]," ; RG N31, file 25: Ludwig Osius to Bloem [for his seventieth birthday], 24 June 1938.
10. Nachlass Bloem (Freiburg), RG N31: Dr. Schmalz, "Findbuch N31"; Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal): Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," PP. 184-89 (quote on p. 184); Gerhard Ritter, The Tragedy of Statesman- ship: Bethmann Hollweg as War Chancellor (1914-1917), vol. 3 of The Sword and the Scepter: The Problem of Militarism in Germany, trans. Heinz Norden (Coral Gables, Florida, 1972), pp. 358-72.
11. Nachlass Bloem (Freiburg), RG N31: Dr. Schmalz, "Findbuch N31"; file 1, "Lebenslauf'; file 26, "Stammliste"; file 8, Walter Bloem, "Notizen fiber die TAtigkeit der Feldpressestelle des Generalstabes des Feld- heeres, Charlesville, 1916-1918," [n.d.]. The Field Press Office never achieved anything close to the central role in the German press originally assigned to it. It did create an effective agency for army papers. Bloern founded a system of war reporters made up o army officers that was retained by the German army in World War 11. Gordon Wright, The Ordeal of Total War, 1939-1945 (New York, Evanston, and London, 1968), p. 69, note 4. See also, Nachlass Bloern (Wuppertal): Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," pp. 195-99.
12. Nachlass, Bloern (Freiburg), RG N31, file 3: Walter Bloem, "Greuelhetze," Kdlnische Zeitung (10 Feb. 1915) and [Walter Bloem], draft for a lecture, ultimately published in Die Woche 17 (1 May 1915): 613-19; RG N31, file 22: article by a Herr Kuhn in the Bayrische Landeszeitung (25 Aug. 1919), attached to and the subject of Bloern to Herr Kuhn, 28 Aug. 1919.
13. Nachlass Bloern (Wuppertal): Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," pp. 197-202. Bloern's attack on the Peace Resolution was entitled "From a Front Officer" and appeared in Die Woche. This was undoubtedly part of the Supreme Command's campaign against the Peace Resolution. For this see Gordon A. Craig, The Politics of the Prussian Army, 1650-1945 (London, Oxford, and New York, 1955), pp. 330-31.
14. Nachlass Bloern (Wuppertal), file 65: Bloern to [Dr. Harald 01dag], 2 Apr. 1925; Dr. Harald 01dag, Bergisch-Mfirkische Zeitung, Abt. Aus- senpolitik, to [Bloeml, 23 Mar. 1925; ibid.: Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," pp. 195-202. For the horror of Verdun and its impact on German chances for victory, see Alistair Home, The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916 (Harmondsworth, Middlesex, 1962), esp. pp. 42-45, 330.
16. Ibid., file 6: Walter Bloem, Wandlungen der Seele im Kriege: Vortrag, gehalten am 20. Januar 1917 im Sieglehaus zu Stuttgart auf Einladung der Vereinigung ffir Vortrdge wdhrend des Krieges (Wdrttemberg, n.d. [1917; forward by Bloern dated 27 Jan. 1917]).
17. Nachlass Bloern (Wuppertal): Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," pp. 205-14, 234. See the following in Nachlass Bloern (Freiburg), RG N31, file 8, Bloem, "Notizen"; file 1, Barmer Zeitung (2 Mar. 1918); Dr. Schmalz, "Findbuch N31"; file 26, "Stammliste"; file 1, Generalstab des Feldheeres, Abteilung IIIb, -Nr. 19543111, geheim," 7 Nov. 1918; file 7, [Walter Bloem], "Maschinenschriftliche Obertragung der stenographischen Tagebuch-Aufzeichnungen des Schriftstellers Walter Bloern dber die Ereignisse vorn 19. Oktober bis zurn 21. November 1918, Kriegspresseamt und Revolution, aus Aktenstiick 7 des Bestandes 54 des Bundes- archivs, S. 1-44, dictandoilbertragen von Oberregierungsrat a.D. Ludwig Krieger, Bonn [transcription of Bloern's diary from stenographic original]," Oct.-Nov. 1918, pp. 9-10; file 11, "Ein eigenartiger Vortrag in der Kolonialgesellschaft," Der Reichsbote (6 Nov. 1918); "Walter Bloems politische Wandlungen," Deutsche Zeitung (5 Nov. 1918). Not all those present for the lecture were hostile; the future Reich Chancellor of Germany, Heinrich Briining, was overjoyed by Bloern's stand against the Pan-Germans. Ibid., file 51: Heinrich Briining to Bloem, 6 Nov. 1918.
18. Nachlass Bloem (Freiburg), RG N31, file 7: [Bloeml, "Maschinenschriftliche Ubertragung," Oct.-Nov. 1918, pp. 4-20; Nachlass Bloern (Wuppertal): Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," pp. 215-21; Albrecht, Deutsche Schriftsteller, pp. 81 and 649, note 7.
20. Nachlass Bloern (Freiburg), file 1: Bloem, "Lebenslauf'; Bloem, "Warurn werden Ihre Bficher viel gelesen?," p. 3. Bloern wrote in 1925: "1 have dedicated my life and creative activity to the German Volk in its entirety, and will never tire of admonishing it to unity, to reconciliation." Nachlass Bloern (Wuppertal), file 22: Walter Bloern, "Ein Wort zu 'Briiderhchkeit'," Hamburger Familienblatt (1 Dec. 1925). See also ibid., file 22: Walter Bloem, "Offene Antwort zu Rocholl," 16 May 1923.
21. The politicization of Bloern's writing began in the war, when he wrote for the purposes of an imperial war machine in which he nonetheless gradually lost faith. He even undertook to write a novel on enemy espionage activities for the War Press Bureau. Nachlass Bloern (Frei- burg), file 1: Kriegspresseamt to Bloem, 7 Nov. 1918. See also: Nachlass Bloern (Wuppertal), file 19: [Walter Bloeml, "GesprAch mit [Oswald] Spengler," [in Hamburg], Apr. 1924, pp. 1-4; ibid.: [Walter Bloem], "Zweites Buch: Der neue Dreissigjahre Krieg," ["Werk und Tat," vol. 3], n.d. (post-1945), pp. 513-22; file 22: Bloem, "Ein Wort," Hamburger Familienblatt; ibid.: Bloern, "Offene Antwort zu. Rocholl"; Bloern, "Warurn werden lhre Bficher viel gelesen?," p. 3.
22. For the relationship between the decline of neohumanist and legal education and the susceptibility of educated burghers (particularly of the lawyers who nearly monopolized state offices) to illiberal national- ism, see: Ralf Dahrendorf, Society and Democracy in Germany (Garden City, NY, 1967); Konrad H. Jarausch, Students, Society, and Politics in Imperial Germany: The Rise of Academic Illiberalism (Princeton, 1982).
23. For the breakdown of transhistorical standards in law and morality as the background to twentieth century barbarism, see Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History (Chicago and London, 1950); John H. Hallowell, Main Currents in Modem Political Thought (New York, 1950); Eric Voegehn, The New Science of Politics: An Introduction (Chicago and London, 1952); idem, Science, Politics and Gnosticism (Chicago, 1968).
25. Bloem appears to be what Isaiah Berlin called an intellectual "hedge- hog," i.e., a writer who relates "everything to a single central vision." Bloern's "single, universal, organizing principle" was the nation. Isaiah Berlin, Russian Thinkers, ed. Henry Hardy and Aileen Kelly (Harmonds- worth, Middlesex, 1978), p. 22.
26. Quote from Eric Voegelin, "The German University and the Order of German Society: A Reconsideration of the Nazi Era," The Intercollegiate Review: A Journal of Scholarship and Opinion 20, no. 3 (1985): 15-16, 25.
27. For an analysis of the roots and political consequences of deluded self-images, see James M. Rhodes, The Hitler Movement: A Modern Millenarian Revolution (Stanford, 1980), pp. 148-64, esp. 150-53.
28. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal): Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," pp. 234-36 (quote on p. 234) and Walter Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Exemplar 1, Band 1, 1 bis 243. Alte Fassung," n.d. [after 1945], pp. 29, 129, 165-66. See also ibid., file 22: Moritz Schauenburg to Herr Dreecken, 30 Jan. 1946.
29. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal): Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," pp. 237-39; Hans Peter Bleuel and Ernst Klinnert, Deutsche Studenten auf dem Weg ins Dritte Reich: Ideologien-Programme-Aktionen 1918-1935 (GOt- ersloh, 1967), p. 261.
36. Bloem lectured the students at several universities-the university at Gottingen, the Technische Hochschule in Hannover, the Tierartzliche Hochschule in Dresden. He won agreement from the rectors, only cool respect from the students. Ibid., file 22: Bloem, "Offene Antwort zu Rocholl," paragraph 2.
44. Jfirgen Schwarz, Studenten in der Weimarer Republik: Die deutsche Studen- tenschaft in der Zeit von 1918 bis 1923 und ihre Stellung zur Politik (Berlin, 1971), pp. 136, 331, 387; Bleuel and Klinnert, Deutsche Studenten, pp. 64-65; Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal): Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," p. 239.
46. Bloem, Brfiderlichkeit, pp.7-8 (quote on p. 15). This is a fictionalized corps; Bloem denied modeling it on his own corps, Teutonia-Marburg. In fact, Bloem claimed that his fictional corps was the "type of the dueling fraternity overall." Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 22: Bloem, "Offene Antwort zu Rocholl," section 1.
48. Ibid., pp. 59-60, 100-102; George L. Mosse, "Die deutsche Rechte," in Entscheidungsjahr 1932: Zur Judenfrage in der Endphase der Weimarer Republik. Ein Sammelband, ed. Werner E. Mosse and Arnold Paucker, 2d rev. ed. (Tiibingen, 1966), p. 234.
68. "In the whole book voelkische ideals are indeed extolled, nevertheless their misuse against Jews like the heroes of the novel is condemned." Mosse, "Die deutsche Rechte," p. 234. For the characteristics of the Reform Conservative, see Klaus Epstein, The Genesis of German Conser- vatism (Princeton, 1966), pp. 8-10.
69. Bloern's works also appeared during 1918-1933 with the Staackmann, Koehler, and Scherl firms, the chief publishers of nationalist Unterhalt- ungsromane (entertainment novels). Deutsches Biicherverzeichnis 12: 457; 17: 339; 20: 314. One book was published by the Verlag Reimer Hobbing, owner of the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung and part of the Hugo Stinnes empire. This was Bloern's book on the war, Der Weltbrand. For the Verlag Reimer Hobbing, see Heinz-Dietrich Fischer, "Deutsche All- gemeine Zeitung," Deutsche Zeitungen des 17. bis 20. Jahrhunderts, ed. Heinz-Dietrich Fischer (Pullach near Munich, 1972), pp. 275-81 and Kurt Koszyk, Deutsche Presse 1914-1945: Geschichte der deutschen Presse, Part 3 (Berlin, 1972), pp. 108-9, 135-36, 138-39, 142. But Bloern's regular publisher during most of the Weimar era was the Grethlein concern, based in Leipzig and Zurich. See Nachlass Bloern (Wuppertal): file 6/29, [Bloem], Autobiographical Sketch, pp. 9-11; file 22, "Vertrag [contract between Verlagshandlung Grethlein und Co., G.m.b.H., and Walter Bloeml," 16 Oct. 1919; Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," pp. 249-50, 262.
70. The novel was supposed to appear at the end of April. Nachlass Bloern (Wuppertal), file 22: "Vereinbarungen vorn 8. and 9. Januar 1922, paragraph 10," [9 Jan. 19221. Its appearance was announced in late May and early June as being imminent. See ibid., file 61: "Die Briiderfichkeit [Walter Bloem]," Hannoversche Landeszeitung (3 June 1922); "Die Brilder- lichkeit [Walter Bloem]," Chemnitzer Tageblatt; "Die Brfiderlichkeit [Wal- ter Bloeml," Deutsche Hochschule (May/June 1922). The earliest reviews of the novel after it hit the bookstores appeared in the last week of June 1922 (see below). For official total of first printing, see Deutsches Biicherverzeichnis 7: 390. Actually, 1,100 copies were printed over and above this total, assuming that Bloern's contract was honored. Accord- ing to this contract, Bloern was to receive 100 free copies for each 100,000 in print; 1,000 more were to be printed for critics and as dedication copies. None of these were to be numbered with the regular editions. Ibid., file 22: "Vertrag," [16 Oct. 1919].
72. Josef Setzer, "Die Arbeiterbilchereien," Vorwdrts (30 June 1928); Friedrich Schnack, "Billige Bficher, teure Bilcher," Die literarische Welt 5, no. 17 (1929): 5. The term bestseller came into currency in Germany during the 1920s. See for example, "Die Best-Seller-Listen," in Die literarische Welt from 14 Oct. 1927 on.
74. Sarah Gordon, Hitler, Germans and the "Jewish Question" (Princeton, 1984), p. 52; Erich Eyck, A History of the Weimar Republic, Vol. 1: From the Collapse of the Empire to Hindenburg's Election, trans. Harlan P. Hanson and Robert G. L. Waite (New York, 1962), pp. 213-21; S. William Halperin, Germany Tried Democracy: A Political History of the Reich From 1918 to 1933 (New York, 1946), pp. 228-40.
76. Quote from the unpublished historical monograph in Marbach/Neckar, Deutsches Literaturarchiv, Nachlass Langen-Mfiller: Hans F16rke, "Der Albert Langen Verlag," with marginal notes by Gustav Pezold, n.d., p. 195. See also: Franz Blei, "Verlag, Buchhandel, Autor," Das Tagebuch 4 (1923): 1744; Friedrich Schulze, Der deutsche Buchhandel und die geistige Str6mungen der letzten hundert Jahre (Leipzig, 1925), pp. 11, 16, 21-25, 58-89; Mendelssohn, S. Fischer, pp. 873, 937; Kurt Wolff to Hans Mardersteig, 23 Aug. 1923 in Kurt Wolff. Brieftvechsel eines Verlegers 1911-1963 (Frankfurt, 1966), p. 399; Helmut Hiller, Zur Sozialgeschichte von Buch und Buchhandel (Bonn, 1966), p. 30; Hans Ferdinand Schulz, Das Schicksal der Biicher, und der Buchhandel: System einer Vertriebskunde des Buches, 2d rev. ed. (Berlin, 1960), p. 11.
80. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 22: "Verlegerliste Uber die zurn literarischen Nachlass des Schriftstellers; Dr. Walter Bloem geh6rigen ver6ffenthche Werke," n.d. [around 19511. Around 100,000 copies were reportedly sold by October 1932. Hegemann, "Walter Bloem contra Heinrich Mann," p. 1591.
83. Bloem read from Hans Joachim's lecture to the corps on 19 Sept. 1922 at the Gymnasium in Barmen. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 22: "Walter Bloem in Barmen," Deutsches; Tageblatt (30 Sept. 1922).
84. lbid.: Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," pp. 249-50, 262, 506 (quotes on p. 250). Fischer is treated in the classic Mendelssohn, S. Fischer, and Ullstein in Hermann Ullstein, The Rise and Fall of the House of Ullstein (New York, 1943).
86. "The great whole of the corps students and furthermore the whole of the dueling students saw in me the renegade, the rebel, the mutineer against the consecrated traditionalism fbid., pp. 240, 244 (quote on p. 144).
102. fbid., p. 13. For Fritsch, see Richard S. Levy, The Downfall of the Anti-Semitic Political Parties in Imperial Germany (New Haven and Lon- don, 1975), pp. 29, 37-39, 172, 235, 243-44, 260-65 (quote on p. 37). For Dinter, see Roddler F. Morris, "German Nationalist Fiction," pp. 197-444, and Arthur Dinter, Die Siinde wider das Blut (Leipzig and Hartenstein/Erzgebirge, 1921). Fritsch's essays were undoubtedly a source for Bloern's portrait of Str6bel. Two are contained in Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 22. Bloem may have been familiar, as Weiss and other critics suspected, with the antisemitic novels of Dinter, whom he knew well from the pre-World War I theater world. Brotherhood may have been consciously constructed as a counter novel to Sin Against the Blood although this can not be proven.
109. fbid.: Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," pp. 243-44; ibid., file 65: [Walter Bloem], "Meine Vemehmung vor den 'Denazifizierungsaus- schuss der Hansestadt Ubeck' am 12. Dezember 1947," [12 Dec. 19471, p. 5.
112. Ibid.: Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," p. 266. See p. 246 for the presence of Walter Julius in Wfirzburg. It is not clear what relationship the senior Bloem had with the Wiirzburg corps, although there was clearly some personal contact.
119. Ibid., file 22: Wolfgang Winckler to Bloem, 9 Feb. 1934. Winckler was unable to do away with the notion of humanity raised in Bloem's books. He ended his last letter to Bloern in this vein: "For, not true, learned Herr Doctor, we must be able to sacrifice all for the fatherland except this one thing, if we wish to remain humans in the sense of the creator: we may not give up our humanity, our love and with these our souls?!"
120. Ibid., file 61: H.L.R., "Die Brilderlichkeit [Walter Bloeml," Rosegger Heimgarten (Aug. 1922). Heimgarten was founded in 1876 by Peter Rosegger. It was vd1kisch and anti-Jewish. Wilmont Haacke, Feuil- lentonkunde: Das Feuilleton als literarische und journalistische Gattung, 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1943), 1: 135.
126. Ibid., file 61: H. W., "Brilderhchkeit [Walter Bloem]," Neue Preussische (Kreuz-) Zeitung (3 Nov. 1922); Kurt Koszyk and Karl Hugo Pruys, W6rterbuch zur Publizistik (Munich, 1969), p. 205; Meinolt Rohleder and Burkhard Trilde, "Neue Preussische (Kreuz-) Zeitung," Deutsche Zeitun- gen, ed. Fischer, pp. 209-24.
129. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 61: J. St.-g, "Briiderlichkeit [Walter Bloem]," Miinchen-Augsburger Abendzeitung (2 Sept. 1922); Koszyk, Deutsche Presse 1914-1945, p. 185. For quote, see Harold J. Gordon, Jr., Hitler and the Beer Hall Putsch (Princeton, 1972), p. 47. Other nationalist papers panned Brotherhood. Der Tag compared it unfavorably to Erich Wieprecht's Burschen in Not, an orthodox nationalist student novel. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 22: Dr. Paul Sysmank, "Studentische Zeitkrisen in Roman," Der Tag: Die grosse nationale Tageszeitung (24 Jan. 1925). The Kreuzburger Nachrichten, apparently a German Nationalist paper, found the book exciting and artistically commendable, but criticized the handling of the Jewish question. Bloem was accused of overlooking the driving spiritual forces behind postwar antisernitism. Ibid., file 61: "Briiderhchkeit [Walter Bloeml," Kreuzburger Nachrichten (23 Aug. 1923). The Dresdner Nachrichten, also seemingly close to the DNVP, denied the book even the least artistic merit. Ibid., file 61: "Ein neuer Bloem," Dresdner Nachrichten (12 July 1922).
133. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 61: NT, "Briiderlichkeit [Walter Bloeml," Schlesische Zeitung (2 July 1922); Norbert Conrads, "Schlesische Zeitung (1742-1945)," Deutsche Zeitungen, ed. Fischer, pp. 115-30.
135. Ibid., pp. 243-44. Before a denazification tribunal after World War II, Bloern claimed that he faced honor tribunals in two officer associations to which he belonged, being acquitted by both. [bid., file 65: [Bloeml, "Meine Vernehmung, 11 P. 5.
138. First quote, ibid., p. 234, second quote, p. 230. v139. Bloern's political avowal in Brotherhood "cost me untold hundreds of thousands in fallen income from my postwar books, whose sales potential now sank from work to work." Ibid., p. 245.
140. Ibid., file 65: [Bloem], "Meine Vernehmung," p. 5; file 22, [Walter Bloem], "Anweissung fdr meine Erben und Rechtsnachfolger fdr die Behandlung meines literarischen Nachlasses," n.d. [post 1945], pp. 2-3; Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," pp. 268-69.
142. Ibid., file 22: "Verlegerhste," p. 2. According to this list, Das Land unserer Liebe (1923), Der Weltbrand (1923), and M5rderin (1924) went into print- ings of forty thousand copies each. See also Deutsches Biicherverzeichnis 7: 390; 12: 457; 17: 339, 20: 314; 23: 490. The one exception may have been Die grosse Liebe, which went into sixty thousand copies in 1941; it is not clear when this novel was first published (23: 490).
143. Teutonen (1926) may have only reached an incredibly low printing of three thousand copies. That is, at any rate, the only figure for the novel given by Deutsches Biicherverzeichnis 12: 457. The failure of this novel, published by the nationalist K. F. K6hler Verlag and geared for Bloern's traditional nationalist audience, was regarded as especially ominous by Bloem. "It would certainly have achieved a stormy success by my old community of readers. But it became always clearer: the subterranean sowing of mines by my slanderers had begun to work." Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal): Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," p. 262. Held seines Landes (1928) was also an abysmal sales failure. Frontsoldaten (1930) reached only ten thousand in print. Only in 1931-1933, when Bloem returned to the nationalist mainstream, did his books do fairly wen (Faust in Monbigou, [19311, thirty thousand; Hindenburg, der Deutsche, [19321, thirty thousand). Ibid., file 22: "Verlegerliste," N1. Bloem, p. 2. Even these last figures are far below those of Bloern's heyday, 1912-1922.
145. Ibid., file 22: Dr. Karl Hans Strobl to Bloern, 25 Feb. 1924. Bloern was also turned down as a contributor, seemingly because of his political conversion, by the Bergisch-Mdrkische Zeitung. Ibid., file 65: [Bloeml to [Dr. Harald Oldag], Bergisch-Mdrkische Zeitung, AN. Aussenpolitik, 2. Apr. 1925.
153. Nachlass Bloem. (Wuppertal), file 61: Ws., "Die Judenfrage im Roman," Hildesheimer Allgemeine Zeitung (18 July 1922); Koszyk, Wdrterbuch, p. 225. For Nathaniel Jiinger, a pseudonym for the Evangelical minister Johann Rump, see: Nathaniel Jdnger, Volk in Gefahr! Roman (Wismar, 1922); Roddler F. Morris, "The Jew in the German Novel, 1918-1933," M. A. thesis, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1972, pp. 51-55; George L. Mosse, Germans and Jews: The Right, the Left, and the Search for a "Third Force" in Pre-Nazi Germany (New York, 1970), pp. 48-50, 55.
157. Ibid., file 61: Georg Lutz, "Briiderlichkeit [Walter Bloeml," Bayrischer Kurier (9 Oct. 1922); Gordon, Hitler, pp. 47-48; Karl Aloys Altmeyer, Katholische Presse unter NS-Diktatur: Die katholischen Zeitungen und Zeit- schriften Deutschlands in den jahren 1933 bis 1945. Dokumentationen (Berlin, 1962), p. 17.
158. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 61: "Briiderfichkeit [Walter Bloeml," Augsburger Postzeitung (6 Dec. 1922); ibid., file 61: "Briiderfichkeit [Walter Bloeml," Bayerische Volkszeitung (21 Dec. 1922); ibid., file 61: "Brfiderlichkeit [Walter Bloeml," Frdnkisches Volksblatt (19 Aug. 1922); Koszyk and Pruys, Wdrterbuch, p. 401; Altmeyer, Katholische Presse, pp. 16, 19, 44-45.
159. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 61: Dr. Jos. Froberger, "Brilderfichkeit [Walter Bloem]," Kdlnische Volkszeitung (10 Feb. 1924); Rudolf Morsey, Die deutsche Zentrumspartei 1917-1923, ed. Kommission ffir Geschichte des Parlamentarismus und der politischen Parteien (Diisseldorf, 1966), p. 604. While Germania steered a "centralistic-Republican course in the sense of Erzberger and Wirth," the K61nische Volkszeitung pursued a "federalistic and anti-Prussian" line. The Cologne organ appeared in editions of 28,000 in 1922. See also, Rolf Kramer, "K61nische Volkszei- tung," Deutsche Zeitungen, ed. Fischer, pp. 257-68.
160. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 61: "Briiderlichkeit [Walter Bloeml," Deutsche Reichszeitung (29 Dec. 1922). The Deutsche Reichszeitung was one of the most important regional papers of the Center party, with a circulation of 36,000. Morsey, Zentrumspartei, pp. 604-05.
161. Nachlass Bloern (Wuppertal), file 61: Dr. Contzen, "Briiderlichkeit [Walter Bloeml," Miinsterischer Anzeiger (14 July 1922); Koszyk, Deutsche Presse 1914-1945, p. 292. This was also one of the most important of the Center party's regional organs (circulation, 37,000). Morsey, Zentrums- partei, p. 604.
162. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 61: Dr. Gregor, "Briiderhchkeit: Ein neuer Studentroman," Badischer Beobachter (9 Sept. 1922), in part a reprint of "Briiderlichkeit [Walter Bloem]," Berliner Morgenzeitung (23 June 1922). The Badischer Beobachter was a Center party regional organ of some importance: its circulation was, however, only ten thousand. Morsey, Zentrumspartei, p. 605. (Circulation figure for the year 1926).
166. There are no clippings from these papers in Bloem's massive collection of reviews now at the Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal). Bloem believed that he had seen (thus presumably collected) all critiques of the novel. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 22: Bloem, "Offene Antwort zu Rocholl," section 5. He was in error, but no doubt had all the major reviews. As will be shown below, he bitterly resented being ignored by the great liberal dailies.
169. By 1930, weekday editions of the Berliner Morgen-Zeitung went over 400,000; Sunday editions averaged 630,000. Hans Wallenberg and Arno Scholz, Kleine Geschichte der Zeitungsstadt Berlin (Berlin, 1969), p. 40. Wallenberg and Scholz wrongly attribute ownership of the paper to the Ullstein concern.
172. Reviews of "Briiderlichkeit [Walter Bloeml," in the following papers were based at least in part on the Berliner Morgen-Zeitung article: Isnabriicker Zeitung (27 June 1922); Schweizerische Freie Volkszeitung (24 June 1922); Eisenacher Zeitung (24 June 1922); Mecklenburg Zeitung (28 Sept. 1923); Bremer Zeitung (n. d.); Kurier fuer Niederbeyern (14 Sept. 1922); Pffilzische Volkszeitung (10 July 1922); Holldauer und Laabertalbote (15 Sept. 1922); Niederrheinische Volkszeitung (Dec. 1927); Bremer Volksblatt (17 July 1922); Dr. Gregor, "Brilderlichkeit," Badischer Beobachter (9 Sept. 1922); Der Nachmittag (1 Feb. 1923); Deutsche Warte (8 July 1922); Pilsner Tagblatt (26 June 1922); Deutscher Landwirt (3 Apr. 1926); Berliner Morgen-Zeitung (23 June 1922); Chemnitzer Allgemeine Zeitung (2 Dec. 1922); Der Biicher- markt des Bahnhofbuchhandels (15 July 1922); General-Anzeiger of Ludwigs- hafen/Rhein (24 Aug. 1922); Lauterbacher Anzeiger (26 Mar. 1923); General- Anzeiger of Wesel (5 Oct. 1922). Clippings in Nachlass Bloern (Wuppertal), file 61.
173. Some definitely were, like the Berliner Morgen-Zeitung, and the Pfdlzische Volkszeitung. Others may well have been linked to the DDP, but have not yet been definitely classified politically by this author. For the political ties of the Pffilzische Volkszeitung, see Koszyk and Pruys, Wdrterbuch, p. 225.
174. For the review in the Badischer Beobachter (9 Sept. 1922), see above. See below for "Brfiderlichkeit [Walter Bloeml," Bremer Volksblatt (17 July 1922). Both in Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 61. For the political affiliation of the Bremer Volksblatt, refer to Kurt Koszyk and Gerhard Eisfeld, Die Presse der deutschen Sozialdemokratie (Hannover, 1966), p. 85.
175. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 61: General-Anzeiger of Wesel (5 Oct. 1922); Badischer Beobachter (9 Sept. 1922); Holldauer und Laabertalbote (15 Sept. 1922); Kurier ffir Niederbayern (14 Sept. 1922); General-Anzeiger of Ludwigshafen/Rhein (24 Aug. 1922); Lauterbacher Anzeiger (26 March 1923); Der Biichermarkt des Bahnhofbuchhandels (15 July 1922); Der Nachmit- tag (1 Feb. 1923); Deutsche Warte (8 July 1922); Pilsner Tagblatt (26 June 1922); Niederrheinische Volkszeitung (Dec. 1927); Schweizerische Freie Volks- zeitung (24 June 1922); Eisenacher Zeitung (24 June 1922); Pfalzische Volkszeitung (10 July 1922); Deutscher Landwirt (3 Apr. 1926).
190. Ibid., file 61: "Briiderlichkeit," Der Biichermarkt des Bahnhofbuchhandels (15 July 1922); ibid., file 61: "Briiderlichkeit [Walter Bloeml," Literarischer Handweiser (series 11, 1922); ibid., file 61: Dr. H. J., "Brilderlichkeit [Walter Bloeml," Deutsche Roman-Zeitung (n.d.); ibid., file 22: Tely., "'Brilderlichkeit': Sensationsprozess des Tanzerpaares Janos und Olivia gegen den bekarmten Schriftsteller Walter Bloem," Gross-Berliner neueste Nachrichten, Wochenschrift: Das Blatt der Berliner Gesellschaft 6, no. 2 (1923); Artur Brausewetter, "Briiderlichkeit [Walter Bloeml," Das literarische Echo 25, no. 1 (1922): 50-51. Apparently, the dancers "Janos" and "Olivia," who considered themselves the real-life models for the pair in Brotherhood, sued Bloem. The Gross-Berliner neueste Nachrichten an- nounced that it was the duty of the paper to set up a front against the novel.
191. Quote from Jehuda Reinharz, Fatherland or Promised Land: The Dilemma of the German Jew, 1893-1914 (Ann Arbor, 1975), p. vii. Jewish press response did not always take the form of a review. For example, the Monatschrift ffir Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums (1922 [no month]) recommended the novel in a sentence. "Worth consideration because of its fight against the anti-Semitic and un-social orientation of the corps." Clipping in Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 61.
192. Nachlass Bloem (Wuppertal), file 22: Meta Harris (Capetown, South Africa) to Bloem, 9 May 1925. See also, Carl Rheins, "The Verband Nationaldeutscher juden 1921-1933," Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 25 (1980): 243-68; Klaus T. Hermann, Das Dritte Reich und die deutsch- jiidischen Organisationen 1933-1934 (Cologne, 1969); Donald L. Niewyk, The Jews in Weimar Germany (Baton Rouge and London, 1980), p. 165-77.
195. Ibid., file 22: Gerhard Zuelchaur (?) to Bloem, 29 Nov. 1933. Apparently, the young man, like his father, was (like Ludwig L6wenstein) baptized a Protestant. Both however refused to deny their Jewish blood. Gerhard told Bloem that struggle against the dogma of blood could not be won without help of "Germans in the present-day sense." Apparently, he belonged to the "Reichsverband christlich-deutscher Staatsbiirger"; ibid., file 22: Gerhard Zuelchaur (?) to Bloem, n.d. [received 6 Dec. 19331.
202. Ibid., file 22: Alfred Auerbach, "Von Kampf der Kiinstler um die Judenseele," Liberales judentum: Monatschrift ffir die religi6se Erneuerung des judentums 5, no. 2 (1923), supplement to the Jiidische-liberale Zeitung: Organ der Vereinigung ffir das liberale judentum e. V. Berlin (23 Feb. 1923).
205. Arnold Paucker, "Der jUdische Abwehrkampf," in Entscheidungsjahr 1932: Zur Judenfrage in der Endphase der Weimarer Republik. Ein Sam- melband, ed. Wemer E. Mosse and Arnold Paucker, 2d rev. ed. (TUbingen, 1966), p. 432.
217. See ibid., file 22: Die Redaktion, Israelitisches Familienblatt [signed Caspar] to Bloem, 21 June 1927; [Bloeml to the Redaktion [of the Israelitisches Familienblatt], 24 June 1927; Die Redaktion, Israelitisches Familienblatt [signed Caspar] to Bloem, 24 June 1927; Bloem to M. Lessman Verlag, Hamburg, 27 June 1927.
222. Ibid., file 6/29: Der Vorsitzende des Central-Vereins deutscher Staats- biirger jfidischen Glaubens E.V. to Bloem, 13 June 1928; [Bloem] to the Herren Vorsitzenden des Zentralvereins deutscher Staatsbfirger jiidischen Glaubens e.V., 12 July 1928.
223. Ibid., file 22: Herbert Eulenberg, "Walter Bloem zurn 60. Geburtstag (20. Juni 1928)," CV-Zeitung 17 (22 June 1928): 356-57. Published along with this article was a long excerpt from the brotherhood novel, "Aus dem Roman 'Briiderlichkeit' von Walter Bloem," CV-Zeitung 17 (22 June 1928): 357.
226. Ibid.: Bloem, "Werk und Tat: Zweites Buch," pp. 244, 268-69; file 22, [Bloeml, "Anweisung ffir meine Erben"; file 65, [Bloeml, "Meine Vernehmung," p. 5; file 22, Moritz Schauenburg to Herr Dreecken, 30 Jan. 1946.
228. Ibid., file 22: "Offene Antwort zu Rocholl, section 5." See also Walter Bloem, Deutsche Zwietracht und judentum: Festrede bei der Feier des zehn- jahrigen Bestehens der Ortsgruppe Hamburg des vaterldndischen Bundes jiidischer Frontsoldaten am 17 November 1929 (Leipzig and Zurich, n.d. [19291), pp. 19-21.