Linde in Deutsches Requiem, the story that Borges published in Sur in February Borges story, this tension is embodied in the figure of zur Linde himself, the. My name is Otto Dietrich zur Linde. One of my forebears, Christoph zur Linde, died in the cavalry charge that decided the victory of Zorndorf. [11] This poem is considered to be the precursor of Borges’ short story Deutsches Requiem. The final lines of the poem are, “Sensing horror of.

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In the early to mid twentieth century, many countries exploded into chaos due to the rise of fascism, Nazism and nationalism. During the tumultuous path that led to World War II, throughout the war itself, and the deep scars left in its wake, few people had the strength and courage to stand up for justice. However, one man that did have this inner strength was Jorge Luis Borges. Through his writing, Borges criticized the Nazi regime and its myriad abuses against the Jews of Europe. Borges utilized beautiful and clever prose, as well as fictitious characters, to craft stories that implicitly expressed the many positive characteristics of Jewish people and society.

In doing so, Borges painted a universal picture of Jewish society as a whole. However, in his essays and interviews, Borges also explicitly denounced the Nazis, asserting over and over again the need to rid the world of fascism. Additionally, Boryes was a supporter of the State of Israel when few were.

Radical or simply moral? Analyzing Borges’ Literary and Political Relationships with Jews and Nazis

Through fiction, non-fiction and conversation, Borges painted a picture vastly different than the Nazi propaganda denouncing Jews and characterizing them as cheap, evil and responsible for all the ills of society. Unlike the deductive way in which the Nazis described the Jews, Borges used inductive reasoning to prove his points.

Through carefully executed individual reqhiem, Borges created composites of people, thereby allowing him to make more accurate conclusions about the Jewish people. Theory, in its most simplified definition, is a way of seeing the world. Furthermore, analyzing what Borges was saying to the media and writing in political essays is necessary to counterbalance the notion that he was an apolitical writer.

Borges grew up in a bilingual and mixed religious household. He was born in Buenos Aires but his paternal grandmother was British and Protestant, and thus he grew up speaking English as well as Spanish.

This is relevant because Borges, like many Jews in communities throughout Europe, was simultaneously an insider and an outsider in Argentina. I do not know how to celebrate the Jewish blood stream flowing in my veins.

Borges called Cansinos-Assens his master. Besides his close friendships with Jews, Borges also read many Jewish works in a variety of disciplines that inspired him—from kabbalistic writings to literature to poetry.

It can serve as a means of thinking, of trying to understand the universe. In fact, Borges translated Kafka into Spanish while Kafka was still alive and was one of the first people to promote Kafka in the Spanish world. Like the Jew in JuderiaBorges remained steadfast in his beliefs. Inwhen an ultra-nationalistic Argentine magazine Crisol accused Borges of being a Jew and disguising his Jewish ancestry, Borges responded by writing a story.

Writing this story in Argentina one year after Hitler had become Chancellor of Germany was incredibly risky. Argentina was a hotbed of anti-Semitism, so much so that many Nazis fled to Argentina after World War II to avoid persecution by international courts.

No one in the innermost recesses of his being can hope that it triumphs. Another way Borges advocated for Jews was in his outspokenness on the right for Jews to have their own homeland. His initial love of Judaism expanded into a love of the State of Israel.

Deutsches Requiem by Maggie Maloney on Prezi

He even penned a celebratory poem after the Six-Day War that took place in Israel in In Borges traveled to Israel, a deeply impactful trip for him. To begin, two of his works of fiction are explicitly about the Holocaust. However, the two main characters in these borgss could not be more different. Deutsches Requiem tells the story of the final moments of a Nazi, while The Secret Miracle puts us in the mind of a Jewish playwright.


Both characters are sentenced to death. The Nazi for murdering Jews and the Jew for being a Jew at the wrong time and place. Ultimately, though, both men die due to the Nazi regime.

In Deutsches RequiemOtto Dietrich zur Linde awaits death for his role as a commandant in a rdquiem camp. Even while awaiting death by a firing squad, Otto believes passionately in Nazism. By writing this story after the Holocaust ended, Borges was highlighting the fact that the world was still not a safe place. Even though the Nazi regime was defeated, Nazis were still alive and their distorted and disturbing ideology still existed. This is seen through Otto, who does not regret his cruelty towards Jewish people.

Rather, Otto regrets the moments where his staunch dfutsches against the suffering of Jews wavered. Specifically, Otto believes that being compassionate is the ultimate deutschhes if you are objectively the superior man.

These thoughts manifested when an esteemed Jewish poet, one that Otto admired and revered, entered deutschez concentration camp in which he worked.

The name of this poet, David Jerusalem, is borgew, as it is representative of how Borges wanted to portray this character. Jerusalem is the Jewish deutschse land, more so than any other place in the State borgss Israel. This place represents a certain holiness and a connection to the divine.

The way in which Borges describes Jerusalem, it seems that his name fits his personality accurately. Otto, on the other hand, only sees things in their larger picture or cause.

He refuses to treat Jerusalem differently than any other inmate because, for him, this would be giving into weaknesses inherent in his soul. Thus, he is not hindered by the brilliance that is Jerusalem, choosing instead to group him with the anonymous Jewish masses and act just as cruelly.

The contrast between the two characters is stark, and it makes the reader wonder if this is purely because one was a Nazi and involved in depraved acts or because one is Jewish and thus able to find beauty in life that so few could. Borges may be highlighting the fact that due to constant Jewish persecution throughout the history of time, Jews have, by necessity, sought the unexpected beauty in the world, since regular, or mainstream, beauty was always denied to them.

Perhaps the people that are truly able to see the world in all its deustches and detail are the people who are marginalized and silenced. For these sensitive honest souls are easy to overstep and ignore. Deutches, in examining these two artists that are obsessed with articulating the beauty in the world, Borges is emphasizing the unique abilities in each of us.

People do not need to be defined solely by the group into which they were born.

Rather, each person is endowed with a soul and mind capable of examining the world with care and diligence. Although reading Deutsches Requiem as a tale that praises the resilience and strength of Jewish people may seem obvious now, this was not always the case.

Examining the critical reception of this short story sheds light on the time in which Borges was writing and the adversity he deutschhes highlighting Jewish strengths when few people were. This story was almost altogether ignored upon publication. Even the few critics that chose to recognize this short story often rfquiem the meaning of the story entirely.

Deutsches Requiem (short story) – Wikipedia

John Sturrock, the author of Paper Tigers: Carter Wheelock, author of Mythmakerheld a nearly identical opinion about the story. He wrote that Deutsches Requiem was about different ways of conceiving reality, not about Nazis, Jews or Germany gone wrong.

This war borgew a campaign by the Argentine military government against suspected leftist dissidents and subversives and resulted in thousands deutscues missing and murdered people. InJaime Alazraki, a critic and close friend of Borges, was the first person to use the word Holocaust in connection with Deutsches Requiem. This feature has not always been identified with sufficient emphasis, perhaps because we left-wing Latin American intellectuals feutsches been too slow to recognize it in fictions which deal with questions about order in the world.


Besides portraying Jewish characters in his writing, Borges also writes about non-Jews who are affected and impacted by Jewish texts. In doing so, he not only highlights the universality of many Jewish ideas, but also underscores the distinctions between Jews and non-Jews.

In Death and the Compassbkrges reader is introduced to Dr. The story begins after the murder of Yarmolinsky, deutschex first in a string of murders that Erik Lonnrot, a non-Jewish detective, is assigned to solve. Borges describes Yarmolinsky as a man wise beyond his years, as a survivor. In fact, this story was published inat the height of Nazi power when anti-Jewish propaganda was rampant. He hopes that through reading and understanding more, he will not only be able bborges solve this crime and the string of murders that followbut also gain understanding of the true source of knowledge.

However, Lonnrot fails to do so. However, the darker message of this story is the dangers of what happens when one is so all-consumed in the pursuit of knowledge that they fail to see the world around them.

Since Jews are so accustomed to suffering under the persecution of an absolute authority, they are more aware of their surroundings and, as a result, tread more cautiously. Lonnrot, on the other hand, is used to being safe in his surroundings and thus is easily manipulated.

In works that seem to have no relation to Jews or the politics of the time, Borges often imbued Kabbalistic references. For the Kabbalists, every word of the Torah hasfaces, which means that is has that many meanings and interpretations. Almost everything he writes can be analyzed and interpreted to mean one thing, but also to mean the direct opposite of that conclusion.

Summarily, the idea of the sepiroth is that God is a reflection of the Torah. If borged is the case, then what is on earth is what is above, in the heavens. Towards the end of his life, inBorges more explicitly expressed why he so admired the Jewish people deutsxhes the public. He is not tied by any form of loyalty or special tradition, which allows him to innovate in science and the arts. In that sense, to be duetsches Argentine offers an advantage similar to that of the Jew.

It seems that above all else, the nomadic nature of the Jewish people is what fascinated Borges about Jews. He says that Jews have never been inclined to be entirely deuutsches in mainstream society, regardless of the country in which borge lived, because they had their own traditions to uphold.

Thus, through this independence, Jews managed not only to survive, but to flourish, prosper and innovate for hundreds of years in Western and Eastern Europe.

Like the Jews, Borges created a deutshces barrier between himself and society, as well as between himself and the art of writing.

He was, of course, a political minority in an increasingly right-wing Argentina. He chose to see himself as an outsider, more of a reader and a librarian than an actual writer. Thus, in some ways, Borges was a marginalized individual, like the deutshes Jewish community. In reading Borges, it is easy to imagine myriad people objecting to, and disliking, his portrayal of Jewish people and ideas.

On one side, people argue that Borges was far too sympathetic in his portrayal of Jews, who were a cancer to society that needed to be destroyed. On the other end of the spectrum, people argue that Borges oversimplified Jewish thought, such as kabbalahin such a way that could make people misunderstand the true depth of this discipline.

Furthermore, it could be argued that Borges idealized the Jewish plight. Time and again, Borges portrays Jews that transform suffering into vision and action.