*** DEBUG END ***

German black magic

18 September 2015

September 17th, 1915.

IF EVER a nation can go mad, that is the case of Germany today. The malady has passed through many phases; at one time it has taken the form of insensate hate, at another it is homicidal, and more particularly infanticidal. Now it appears in a curious state of imbecility obsessed with superstition. One of the Zeppelins which have visited us during the week was the bearer of a mutton blade-bone, on which was roughly drawn a figure of Sir Edward Grey, with a maledictory legend. This is the second recent example of throwback on the part of the German character to primitive barbarism. The other is, of course, the carving of a colossal wooden effigy of Von Hindenburg, in which the German people are invited to drive nails, evidently with the idea that every nail driven into the figure is a nail driven into his enemies. The proceeding derives from the days when black magic was practised, as readers of Ingoldsby Legends will recall. Kultur, we believe, is the German equivalent for civilization, but our conception of the latter certainly does not include the black arts, which, happily, civilized man has abandoned. If there is truth in the saying that God first deprives of their reason those whom He wills to destroy, we seem to be witnesses of the process which we hope is but the preliminary to the destruction of an enemy who has done harm enough to suffice for what remains of the world’s lifetime.


The Church Times digital archive is available free to postal subscribers.

Forthcoming Events

30 January 2021
How to Rage
An online day conference reflecting on theology, activism and the church   Book tickets

9 February 2021
Preaching in Lent, Holy Week and Easter
From the Festival of Preaching: save the date for a one-day online festival this February.

18 March 2021
Theology Slam Final

The competition for those aged 18-30 returns with a focus on the pandemic.    Find out more

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)