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To My Neighbor

I lift you higher,
lift you out
of your body cells
stuffed with anxiety
of your past -
an evil load that smells.

I'll fill each cell
with love and joy
that makes the
angels dance.
You'll glide through earthly
filth and stench -
a spiritual trance.

From your youth filled eyes,
your hands
and feet,
a holy peace shall flow,
so you and I
be filled with grace -
let us be still
and know.

William Hermanns


Seelentränen sind Gedichte,
rot mit Herzblut aufgeschrieben,
tiefem Menschenleid zum Ruhm,

Lies sie still in reinem Lichte,
frei von Trieben:
Du betrittst ein Heiligtum.

Wilhelm Hermanns

William Hermanns


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William Hermanns


Curse and Blessing

    Poem: Curse & Blessing   Fluch und Segen

Essay List

The author translated the speech to the 34th International Congress of the Church in Need into English the same year  with the title Curse and Blessing.  The Congress met on August 4, 1984 in Königstein/Ts in Germany. 

A recent study by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was published in March 2013.  It concludes that the Holocaust of the genocide of Jews in Europe under the Nazis was far worse than previously reported, with over 42,500 sites of torture and extermination catalogued.    

Excerpt:  Dr. Dean, a co-researcher, said the findings left no doubt in his mind that many German citizens, despite the frequent claims of ignorance after the war, must have known about the widespread existence of the Nazi camps at the time.

“You literally could not go anywhere in Germany without running into forced labor camps, P.O.W. camps, concentration camps,” he said. “They were everywhere.”  

Link:  www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/sunday-review/the-holocaust-just-got-more-shocking

Essay Navigation by Section (set about every 100 Lines)

1 2 Pope John XXIII 3 4
                                     Curse and Blessing

As I was visiting the Austrian exiled Empress Zita in 1980 in a convent in Switzerland, she said in a long conversation, in which my son Ken also participated, "Some weeks after the beginning of the war in 1914, Emperor Franz Josef came to us to congratulate my husband Karl, the successor to the throne, on his birthday. At my remark, ‘We already have won two great victories over the Russians!’, the Emperor said, 'It doesn't matter; we shall also lose this war like all the other wars before.’ 'Your Majesty,’ I cried, 'There is a divine justice; we must win the war. The murder of the throne's successor and his wife must be revenged! '"

I was appalled but, having known and admired her for many years, dared to say, "Your Majesty, must the murder of two persons committed by a couple of Serbian anarchists be revenged with 17 million dead?" For a moment the Empress was speechless and looked at me with large eyes. She, a Princess of Bourbon-Parma, had attended daily Mass since she was little; she knew five popes and many cardinals personally; and I must be the first to tell her, almost ninety years old, that the World War of 1914-18 was a crime -- and that to a member of the Austrian Imperial House, which was honored by Rome as the First Catholic House for centuries! What a curse, when religion is used as an instrument of political power! Did none of the Princes of the Church, who went in and out of the House of Habsburg, know the sociological law of mass-ideology: "Do not make a war which is not anchored in the national consciousness!" Though the First World War was welcome in the German national consciousness, it was not in the Austrian.

Since 1908 the German Emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, had planned the war, which was worked out by General von Schlieffen. Didn't the Kaiser write the curse-loaded words, "Now or never!" on the margin of the Austrian document that considered marching into Serbia to revenge the murder in Sarajevo? The Kaiser, of course, had his political teacher in Bismarck, who left his mark with the words reflecting the German national character: "May they hate us as long as they fear us."

Providence, or should I call it with C.G. Jung the Principle of Synchronicity, led me to another Empress, who also did not know that the masses make history and not the ruler on the throne.

In 1933 after an evening meal in the Crown Prince Palace in Berlin, where I was invited by Empress Hermine, the second wife of the Kaiser, she said to me and some 60 guests, the majority of whom were nobility, "We must elect Hitler, and when he has cleaned the Augias stall from the communists, We will come back." It was as if I was hit on the head. In order to give the Kaiser back his lost throne, she wanted to use a psychopath addicted to revenge, who exploited the leading national thought of German selectiveness for the next world war! Did no one dare to say to her, "Your Majesty, one cannot sow curse to reap blessing! Hitler had not only the youth but millions of German women who loved the uniform behind him. He would not make any place for the Kaiser."

With diamonds in her hair and in a pearl-embroidered pink velvet dress with a long train, the Empress stepped from group to group with her message.. I, a sociologist from Franz Oppenheimer's Frankfurter School, was in despair, ran after her and said, "Your Majesty, Hitler is an evil man!" For a moment she was speechless. Two highly decorated Generals from old aristocratic families whispered, "You dare to contradict at court?" The Empress, who prized my poetry, composed herself and said, "My dear Doctor, if we didn't have any evil men, then we would all have angel-wings and fly away."

The poor Empress mobilized the curse. Ten years went and then it happened. Under frightful torment of body and soul, she had to close her life like a prisoner in one of the Russian occupied cities.

As the Habsburg House was the representative of the Roman Catholic Church, so the Hohenzollern House the spire of the German Lutheran Church. The Bible says: Everything comes home.... For God a thousand years is one day.

— one need only think of the poor Friedrich, who one calls "the Great" -- paid homage to three proverbs: "May they hate us as long as they fear us;" "The world must be healed by the German way of life;" and "Pray to those above, step on those below."

These principles were the alpha and omega of the military lectures in 1915, which I attended in Paderborn with some 300 other One-Year and Officer aspirants. Filled with the war spirit I, the volunteer of the Kaiser, marched to Verdun, blessed by Cardinal von Hartmann and the Kaiser's Court Preacher Dr. Vogel. Already one year later, however, I discarded the mass-ideology of the three proverbs. When I was half-buried by a shell explosion on the battlefield of Verdun and there was nothing but the dead and rats in the shellholes, I stretched my hand towards heaven and cried, "God, save me, and I will serve You as long as I live!" The intuition saved me and changed my life. What I learned there about curse and blessing — I escaped death three times in 24 hours, besides being able to save about 300 people from a French gasbomb -- I began to sow and now, in the third
generation, having the Kaiser and Hitler epochs behind me, I am still sowing by speaking to you, who come from many countries to find a remedy for the Church in need.

Dear Friends, the Kaiser, whom I experienced, had the Bible read to him daily but forbade the Church during the war to preach about the Commandment: "Thou shalt not kill!" Hitler, whom I experienced, had the Jewish Bible burned before the University of Berlin with thousand of books and manuscripts, including mine about the battle of Verdun. This happened May 10, 1933, while the Jesuit-taught Goebbels held his Inquisition speech — a true successor of Saints Chrysostomos and Bernard, as also Torquemada.

Did the flaming autodafe of the Old Testament challenge somewhat the leading religions of our time? Curia Cardinal Bea of Germany said later to me in Rome: "The German cardinals were first German before they were Christians." The Lutheran Bishop Dr. Martin Niemoller said to me: "Some Lutheran churches felt themselves so German, that they had Hitler's Mein Kampf lay next to the Bible on the altar."

As a member of the League for Human Rights I belonged to the resistance movement and sent documents about the National Socialists' bending of the law to President Hindenburg, whom I knew personally, in the hope that he, a believing Protestant, would choose the blessing and not the curse. He thanked me in a personal letter without going into the matter of the documents. Many years later when I asked Franz von Papen, the confidant of Hindenburg,  "Didn't you recommend Hitler as Reichs-Chancellor?" he said, "I have nothing to accuse myself of. I wanted the best for the German people. I am a deeply religious Catholic and still now in my high age hear the daily Mass in my house."

In the beginning of the Sixties I attended some sessions of the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt, where one of the accused especially stood out: He felt no remorse about having helped gas a million Jewish children. He always obeyed the orders of his commanding officer and went also to church, where he confessed and received Communion.

Occupying the Chair of St. Peter at the time of the Auschwitz Trial, Pope John XXIII wrote this about the curse and blessing of the religion:

Today we are conscious, that for many centuries blindness covered our eyes, so that the beauty of Your chosen people was no longer to be seen and in their faces the features of our preferred brothers could no longer be recognized.

We understand that a mark of Cain stands written on our foreheads. During the centuries our brother Abel has lain in the blood that we shed or he has wept tears that we have caused, due to our forgetting Your love.
Forgive us the curse which we falsely fastened on their name Jew. Forgive us, that we nailed You in their flesh for the second time on the cross. Because we knew not what we did...
      (Lapide, Pinchas; Rom und die Juden, Herder Verlag, Freiburg, 1967)

Shortly before his death Cardinal Tisserant, the Dean of the College of Cardinals in Rome, revealed to me that he had warned the Vatican against signing the Concordat with Germany in 1934, but the Secretary of State Cardinal Pacelli, who became Pope Pius XII in 1939, was a friend of the Germans, admiring their love of order and obedience ever since his many years as Nuntius in Germany. As a Frenchman, however, Cardinal Tisserant had gathered experience of mass-psychology and knew also the other side of the German national character: "And if you won't be my brother, I'll crush your skull." It is the mass-ideology of the Germans who want to march and conquer for centuries. Pius XII was naturally interested in Hitler's enmity with Communism and hoped the Concordat would be the appropriate way to establish the Russian Church again.

How did Communism come about?

For many centuries the Russian Church bound itself to the aristocracy and czars. One need only to read Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy to get a feeling of how the common people were exploited by the Russian Church's preaching of earning a better life in heaven by leading a virtuous life of longsuffering and obedience to the Czar. Hitler himself disclosed to Speer and other confidants, that he, thanks to the Concordat, had a Military Bishop who would bless his soldiers marching to Poland to conquer land in the East. After Einstein heard of the Concordat, he said to me: "How can one make a pact between God and the devil?" Pius XII, a deeply religious friend of the Jews, may well have never heard of the subliminal drives of the Teutonic mass-consciousness,

In spite of religion, war has not been abolished over the centuries. The Cosmic Laws -- I experienced them at Verdun -- don't let themselves be influenced by political or religious chess moves. Creation is infinitely more than three-dimensional. The.Church has only in the last 130 years become conscious of what Einstein with his Jewish values expressed, "There is no love without justice and no justice without love." The prophetic religion, which worked with the creative primal energy of the individual conscience, was corrupted already in the first 300 years of Christian development as the political Church strived after three-dimensional goals.

It is noteworthy that "Our dear Lady" said to Bernadette in Lourdes: "I can not help you in this life, but in the next I will." This allusion that Man has the power of his free will to associate with heaven and hell and reap a blessing or curse, she repeated two generations later to the three children in Fatima. She said that the healing of certain persons, for whom the child ren had prayed, could not be accomplished. Before their feet she split the earth and showed her a hell, which in its horror resembles the description of Emmanuel Swedenborg. This Swedish Lutheran Bishop and respected scientist, about whom Kant wrote a book, presented his experiences of the spiritual world to succeeding generations through his book Heaven and Hell. Dante and Ranke have likewise produced searching reflections of the popes and hell. Einstein's word, "How can one make a pact with God and the devil!" should become the warning for all Churches.

How strong the alliance of the Church with the ruling power of the State can be, I experienced in Germany in the form of two world wars, which together cost 80 million people their lives, not to speak of the countless suffering of the survivors. Every invasion was blessed by the Church. Every battle had their prayers behind the front. And during the First World War the pictures of the spiritual head — here the Pope, there the Kaiser and Empress — were visible everywhere at the camps.

Though the mass-consciousness infusing the State has the last choice over war and peace, it is still important to know the personal equation of the current leader of the State. The personal equation of Man is most influenced by the first seven years of a child's life.

The psychological pillars of the first seven years of the Kaiser was hate. He hated his English mother, who not only gave birth to him with a crippled left arm, but also noticeably preferred his brothers and sisters — two brothers died early. The mother always remained estranged to her son with his uncontrolled outbursts. The crippled left arm and sexual unbalance fermented in Wilhelm his life long. No wonder that he hoped -- and that most likely at the cost of England, "I will one day be named Wilhelm the Great."

The Kaiser, as we learned in the college preparatory school, had donated three Bibles to a garrison church. In each he wrote personally the following inscription: "I will go among you and be your God and you shall be my people -- walk on your paths which I offer you. Without me you are capable of nothing." The text was signed: Wilhelm I.R. (Imperator, Rex)

And as the Kaiser became enthusiastic about war, he said, "If I give the order then you must even shoot your parents and brothers and sisters."

Bismarck, having early discovered the Kaiser's personal equation, including sexual inclinations, chose an impoverished princess from Schleswig-Holstein to be his wife in order to secure the continuity of the Hohenzollern dynasty. Auguste Viktoria, however, had also an incurable personal equation, which her English mother-in-law and friend of the Jews had somewhat formed: "As a sovereign I am the highest representative of the German Lutheran Church and beyond all criticism." The psychic pillar of her first seven years was the note on the door of her father's castle in Schleswig-Holstein: "Jews and beggars — entrance forbidden." The Empress Auguste Viktoria, who during the war made sure she was seen wearing a cross or carrying a prayer book upon visiting the military hospitals, never deigned to let her imperial foot step over the threshold of a Jewish hospital, where many Jewish wounded lay dying. As she herself developed a heart disease, however, it was not beneath her dignity to be treated personally by the famous heart specialist Prof. Israels.

Was it a cursed karma, cosmic justice, that afflicted the imperial marriage? The Empress had whipped a page about the ears after her dress was stained while being served. The young aristocrat went to his room and shot himself. On one of his long pleasure cruises, the Kaiser was challenged to a duel by a young aristocratic officer, who was offended at being the buff of an imperial joke. Obeying the Kaiser's order to take his own life he stood on the plank, shot himself and drowned. The authors of these suicides — for God, a thousand years is one day — experienced the cosmic law of retribution as refugees in Doorn, Holland, after the lost world war. While lying on her deathbed the Empress received the news of the suicide of her youngest son, whom she loved most of her seven children. The Kaiser, fallen into depression himself, closed his curse- and flight-laden life with felling trees in the castle park in order to forget.

After the Kaiser I experienced another power-possessed man, who needed the masses to make a name for himself in history: Hitler. If one analyzes him, one must also know his first seven years. What subliminal karmic influences was he exposed to? His father, who as an adult changed his name to Hitler, was the illegitimate child of a maid named Schickelhuber. Himmler later arranged the secret research of the father's past, in order to prove that Hitler had Jewish blood. Himmler hated Hitler, especially since the defeat in Russia, and wanted to take over his place as Fuhrer. He did not succeed, however, to prove that Hitler was not pure aryan. Hitler's karma had still another sore spot. As a child he and his sister had to often witness how his overweight father came home drunk in the uniform of a little Austrian customs agent and forced his resisting wife to satisfy him sexually before the eyes of the children. This experience of the rape of his mother, perhaps the only person whom Hitler truly loved, could have been the psychic pillar upon which Hitler built his later life. Hitler's revelation in his circle of confidence, to which also belonged his Armament Minister Albert Speer, whom I knew since our student days in Berlin in the Twenties, that he would create an Aryan Church after the war was won, is significant, since he experienced his first seven years in an Austrian Catholic town.

If we now take into account the principal discovered by C.F. Jung that synchronicity or meaningful coincidence plays a greater role than the law of cause and effect, then we must ask ourselves: Can we influence the Cosmic Laws through prayer? Pius XII prayed day and night. If Jesus and his mother, who both were Jews and died as Jews, could not decrease the influence of hell, to say nothing of destroying it, how can we hope to divert the atomic danger with the traditional means of the Church? As comforting as it is for the persecuted religious groups that we offer our support, will that influence the Cosmic Laws, which were set in motion through individual personal equations and not only through prayer? How much does the ego in man contribute in all that he does, and how much the unconditional, saving, from the-soul-infused love? I met Franciscans from Croatia. How they hated the Serbian Orthodox Church! I visited a group of Catholic tradionalists loyal to Archbishop Lefevre; what a hate these believers had against any modernization of the Catholic Church, and also against the new conciliatory relation with the Jews! Should still I speak of the hate of the Church against Russia?

I personally experienced the Kaiser, the Empress and Hitler. If I now also think of the personal equations formed by the first seven years of many psychologically tormented students, whom after my flight from Germany I met in my long life as an educator in Harvard, San Jose and Stanford, then the word of a German General comes to mind as we marched to Verdun in 1916: "Here is your opportunity to get rid of everything of hate and revenge you collected in your life. The uniform is the finest psychology: It rewards you as you are with the Medal of the Iron Cross. And if you fall for the Fatherland, posterity will read your names engraved in gold on monuments and tablets in churches." So the war made a blessing out of the curse of human drives. That also knew the remarkable mass-psychologist and dictator of the German Reich with the name of Hitler. Auschwitz became a blessing for the pent-up mass disappointment from the lost war, especially for the soldiers who wore a black uniform. In the history of wars, has ever such a horrible triumph been celebrated by sadism, fed by the State and religion!

May my listeners, especially the youth, learn one thing from these examples: In spite of karmic disposition and the first seven years, the unfoldment of your personal equation can prepare you for a next and higher life, if you learn to discern the difference between the ego-consciousness, that which sees, hears and touches — thus using the three-dimensional plane — and the soul-consciousness, which obeys the Creative Principle or Cosmic Primal Force, the God of the Bible.

As long as the ego-consciousness enslaves the soul-consciousness, religion remains to be a mass-instrument of the power politics for Church and State. So have wars been blessed since thousands of years. Einstein took on a Harvard student, whom I brought to him because of his suicidal thoughts, and healed him through the statement that Man should hearken less to his intellect as to his intuition, in order to fulfill his life's purpose on earth.

Einstein said to me in 1954 in Princeton, some months before his death: "We are heading towards an atomic war; it will break out in the Near East; a third of humanity will survive and will live in caves. When the fourth world war comes, they will fight it out with clubs."

My dear friends, to save religion is a noble task, but is it enough in order to save humanity from destruction?
                 Curse and Blessing

Man, have you with cross and blessing
ever changed your ego-drives?
How do you love to hate, make wars,
and waste your children’s lives!

I swam through rivers of blood at Verdun
with cross and blessing. Pious Pope
and pious Kaiser! Now the atom
gives human ego hope.

Has ever Church subdued Man's ego,
or rather was his solemn guide?
Self-awareness rules the ego,
gives Soul the eternal light.

                           William Hermanns  [P605]

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