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Articles to 2016-11-26

First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.


Having next to no previous knowledge about Alfred Rust for evaluating Ickerodt’s comments about him, the article itself is all I have to go by. But that alone is fully sufficient to tell the difference between reasoned argument and prejudiced denigration.

[K]ann Rust […] den paläolithischen Fundplatz Meiendorf ausgraben. Diese Arbeit fällt in den Zeitraum nach dem Reichstagsbrand, den Ermächtigungsgesetzen, der Auflösung der Gewerkschaften und dem Verbot der SPD! [sic!, p.228]

Please note the exclamation mark. This, seemingly, is a very bad thing. What is Ickerodt reproaching Rust for? His birth year? Of course he neither began his scientific excavations as a schoolboy nor as an old man, who did except for Schliemann? So when else could he have done it, if not in the – and his – thirties?

Wie auch die anderen wichtigen Akteure der damaligen Schleswig-Holsteiner Archäologieszene war A. Rust Mitglied des SS-Ahnenerbes […] Dennoch wird er erstaunlicherweise bei der Entnazifizierung als „unbelastet“ eingestuft.

Alfred Rust, für dessen vorbehaltlosen Einsatz für den nationalsozialistischen Staat sein wissenschaftlicher und beruflicher Ziehvater G. Schwantes bürgt, befindet sich also in ‚bester Gesellschaft‘. [p.228]

Everybody, who wanted to work in that area, was forced to join the relevant party organization (more of that later), just as they had to in the later DDR. The question is whether someone only did the unavoidable or joined the party proper. And since when can a courtesy appraisal (Gefälligkeitsgutachten) be taken for the gospel truth? Doesn’t Ickerodt think, the people running the de-nazifying, often victims of the regime, knew what they were doing?

A. Rust lässt hierdurch einen Erfahrungsraum erkennen, der ihn mit den Architekten des Konzentrationslagers Sachsenhausen bei Oranienburg verbindet, die ihre „wissenschaftlich begründete rassische Überlegenheit“ … [p.231]

What does this even mean? By insisting on scientific criteria and by criticising Nazi-ideological misinterpretation Rust shows himself a scientist and that makes him equal to those, who just like the Marxists claim “scientific truth” for their ideology? Aren’t we descending into the lowest depths of silliness here?

[Quoting Rust]:
„einer Aurignac-Invasion aus Afrika, der wir zustimmen“ […] „eine aus Asien oder aus dem östlichen Europa kommende Klingenkultur-Invasion als denkbar erscheinen“ [p.232]

Both these are part and parcel of every current textbook as “Out of Africa II” but were new ideas in Rust’s time. Of course we don’t usually call it an invasion today, but autodidacts have always and everywhere been more susceptible to the linguistic fads and fashions of their day than those trained for many years in the sedate and dated speech of academia.

A. Rust wirft J. Andree hier keine Geschichtsklitterung vor, sondern betont eher die fehlenden Bodenquellen oder die Andreesche Fehldeutung von Geofakten. [p.232]

So Rust refrains from attacking his colleague ad hominem and limits himself to criticising his work on purely scientific grounds? Yes, I can see how Ickerodt may consider that wrong.

Als folgsamer Mitläufer ohne politische Ambitionen oder strukturinternem Führungsanspruch [p.234]

Allerdings kann ein solcher Eskapismus keine Entschuldigung sein [p.235]

Diese also wohl auf unredliche Weise gewonnene Qualifikation [p.236]

And here we have it in a nutshell. The bare fact, that Rust was willing and ambitious to work as an archaeologist and gain experience at all, instead of spending his time politically fighting the regime, is sufficient for Ickerodt to condemn him.

In einem Schreiben vom 29.11.1944 wird darauf hingewiesen, dass A. Rust sich freiwillig zur Waffen-SS melden müsste, um seine Sonderaufgaben bei SS-Ahnenerbe weiterhin wahrnehmen zu dürfen. Allerdings hatte sich A. Rust laut eigenen Angaben bereits am 2.7.1943 freiwillig gemeldet. [p.236]

And that’s the documentation referred to above. Rust had to join or he would not have been able to continue working any more. And of course he had to join willingly and “voluntarily”, that was and is the well known way of all dictatorships. It is quite common for anyone to misremember exact dates long after the fact. The very existence of the letter proves that Rust had not joined beforehand. The one thing the Nazi regime certainly was not is inefficient.

So there we have it. A totally unfounded vitriolic character assassination lacking any discernible basis in fact. These things get written and even sober, down-to-earth people do get emotionally carried away sometimes – but what on earth possessed the DGUF, a society I am a member of, to print this and totally uncommented at that?

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