Albert Schweitzer - on The Deputy.

Rowohlt Verlag
Reinbek near Hamburg

Dear Sir:

My cordial thanks for sending me "The Deputy." I was an active witness of the failure which took place in those days, and I believe we must concern ourselves with this great problem of the events of history. We owe this to ourselves, for our failure made us all participants in the guilt of those days. After all, the failure was not that of the Catholic Church alone, but that of the Protestant Church as well. The Catholic Church bears the greater guilt for it was an organized, supra-national power in a position to do something, whereas the Protestant Church was an unorganized, impotent, national power. But it, too, became guilty, by simply accepting the terrible, inhuman fact of the persecution of the Jews. For in those days we lived in a time of inhumanity of culture, the beginning of which dates back to Friedrich Nietzsche at the end of the preceding century. The failure was that of philosophy, of free thought, as well.

To stay on the right path of history we must become aware of the great aberration of those days, and must remain aware of it, so as not to stumble further into inhumanity. It is significant, therefore, that the drama "The Deputy" has made its appearance. Not only is it an indictment of an historical personality who placed upon himself the great responsibility of silence; it is also a solemn warning to our culture admonishing us to forego our acceptance of inhumanity which leaves us unconcerned. Thought in our time is still founded in inhumanity. The history of the world in our time is still inhuman through and through, and we accept this as a matter of course.

Hochhuth's drama is not only an indictment of history, but also a clarion call to our time which stagnates in naïve inhumanity.

With best wishes,

Sincerely yours,

Albert Schweitzer

Lambaréné, Gabon
June 30, 1963