iohannis = luther + ostsiedlung (Cf2C VIII)  

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My notwithstanding, I suspect most of the people who voted for Iohannis do not really know who he is, apart from the fact that he is not Ponta. I'm trying to bring a bit more color and background to his wooden personality.

Winter Light and Iohannis compositeI’ll try hard not to use reptilian metaphors, inasmuch as they’ve been used for German rigidity (e.g., Cardassians in Star Trek: truth, treason, mind-meld – or is it Russians?). Last time I used this analogy on someone (see CTP in 2008), that guy reflected it onto a third party (“varanul” for Dan Voiculescu).

To me, the defining foundations of KI’s [Klaus Iohannis] personality are revealed by taking a look at the Transylvanian Saxon diaspora culture within Romania, itself strongly influenced by the Lutheran faith. The illustration is a composite of a still from Ingmar Bergman’s Winter Light (1963) and (obviously) Klaus Iohannis profile, together with a quote from a quick interview with him (hn-portret). More about the movie:

Winter Light concerns a Lutheran pastor’s crisis of faith, and Bergman once said that it was his personal favourite among his works.  Indeed the film must have been drawn from his own personal experiences, since Bergman was the son of a Lutheran minister and must have been familiar with the brooding atmosphere depicted in the film. In keeping with the dour seriousness of its subject, the mise en scene is austere and deliberate.

How did so many Germans get to live outside Germany?

This question is particularly jarring today when virtually all of them have returned to Germany (Ostflucht). But back in the 19th century, when the direction of flow was opposite, it was a big deal, requiring its own German term: Ostsiedlung, resulting in Drang nach Osten (“yearning for the East” – used mainly in the Soviet / Slavic world) which itself gave birth to the Nazi Lebensraum (“habitat”).

According to Jedlicki (1950), in many cases the term "German colonization" does not refer to an actual migration of Germans, but rather to the internal migration of native populations (Poles, Hungarians, etc.) from the countryside to the cities, which then adopted laws modeled on those of the German towns of Magdeburg and Lübeck. 19th- and 20th-century German historians have often exaggerated the importance of the adoption of Salic law and settlement in Central and Eastern Europe for political reasons; while the phenomenon did increase the economic well being of destination countries, at least some of them, like medieval Poland, were already quite developed economically and politically and the local Slavic population was already far more strongly established in its towns than previously believed; the whole process took part in territories where Slavic solid organisational structures existed.

Before and during the time of German settlement, late medieval Central and Eastern European societies underwent deep cultural changes in demography, religion, law and administration, agriculture, settlement numbers and structures. Thus Ostsiedlung is part of a process termed Ostkolonisation ("east colonization") or Hochmittelalterlicher Landesausbau ("high medieval land consolidation"), although these terms are sometimes used synonymously.

Ethnic conflicts erupted between the newly arrived settlers and local populations, sometimes bloody, and expulsions of native populations are also known. In several areas subject to the Ostsiedlung, the existing population was later discriminated against and pushed away from administration.

This German push toward the East encountered the resistance of the Slavic people already inhabiting these territories. It can be argued that the German – Slavic conflict is a major part of Eastern and Central European history. Prussia, the quintessential German Land, was itself originally inhabited by Slavic people who were more [agriculturally] advanced but less warlike, and ended up being conquered so thoroughly by the Germans (Ostrogoths, if I remember my history lesson) that the pRussian Slavic core has all but vanished. By the time of the Ostsiedlung however, the Germans going East were seen as a civilizing force, bringing with them better agricultural technologies and political organizational structures.

While the Wendish [medieval Slavs] tithe was a fixed tax depending on village size, the German tithe depended on the actual crop, leading to higher taxes being collected from settlers than from the Wends, even though settlers were at least in part exempted from taxes in the first years after the settlement was established. This was a major reason for local rulers' keenness to invite settlers.

The German settlement in Transylvania was begun by a Hungarian king.

The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary (1141–1162). For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the Kingdom of Hungary. The colonization continued until the end of the 13th century. Although the colonists came mostly from the western Holy Roman Empire and generally spoke Franconian dialects, they were collectively known as Saxons because of Germans working for the Hungarian chancellery.

Although the primary reason for Géza II's invitation was border defense, employing the Szeklers against invaders, Germans were also sought for their mining expertise and ability to develop the region's economy. Most colonists to this era came from Luxembourg and the Moselle River region.

A second phase of German settlement during the early 13th century consisted of settlers primarily from the Rhineland, Southern Low Countries, and the Moselle region, with others from Thuringia, Bavaria, and even from France. A settlement in northeastern Transylvania was centered on the town Nösen, the later Bistritz (Bistri?a), located on the Somes River. The surrounding area became known as the Nösnerland. Continued immigration from the Empire expanded the area of the Saxons further to the east. Settlers from the Hermannstadt region spread into theHârtibaciu River Valley (Harbachtal) and to the foot of the Cibin (Zibin) and Sebe? (Mühlbacher) mountains. The latter region, centered on the city of Mühlbach (Sebe?) was known as the Unterwald. To the north of Hermannstadt was settled the Weinland near Mediasch (Media?). The term "Saxon" was applied to all Germans of the regions because the first German settlers who came to the Hungarian kingdom were poor miners or convicted groups from Saxony

In 1211 King Andrew II of Hungary invited the Teutonic Knights to settle and defend the Burzenland in the southeastern corner of Transylvania. To guard the mountain passes of the Carpathians (Karpaten) against the Cumans, the Knights constructed numerous castles and towns, including the major city of Kronstadt (Bra?ov). Alarmed by the Knights' rapidly expanding power, in 1225 Andrew II expelled the Order which henceforth relocated to Prussia in 1226, although the colonists remained in the Burzenland.

Along with the (largely Hungarian) Transylvanian nobility and the Szeklers, the Transylvanian Saxons were members of the Unio Trium Nationum, or "Union of the Three Nations", signed in 1438. This agreement preserved political rights for the three inclusive groups and excluded the largely Romanian peasantry from political life.

During the Protestant Reformation, most Transylvanian Saxons converted to Lutheranism. As the semi-independent Principality of Transylvania was one of the most religiously tolerant states in Europe, the Saxons were allowed to practice their religion. The Habsburgs promoted Roman Catholicism to the Saxons during the Counter Reformation, but the majority remained Lutheran.

Emperor Joseph II attempted to revoke the Unio Trium Nationum in the late 18th century. His actions were aimed at the political inequality within Transylvania, especially the political strength of the Saxons. Although his actions were ultimately rescinded, many Saxons began to see themselves as being a small minority opposed by nationalist Romanians and Hungarians. Although they remained a rich and influential group, the Saxons were no longer a dominant class.

During the Revolutions of 1848, the Saxons ultimately supported the Romanian majoritarian population attempt to acquire equal political standing after so many centuries of oppression. The Hungarians, on the other hand, supported complete unification of Transylvania with the rest of Hungary. Stephan Ludwig Roth, a pastor who led the German support for Romanian political rights, was executed by Hungarian radicals during the revolution.

The German minority in Romania increased steadily throughout the 19th century from 1880 (first census), when it was 211748 to a peak of 745421 in 1930, dropping then precipitously (after Soviet deportations to Siberia in the late 40s and early 50simmediately after the war) to 384708 in 1956, 359109 in 1977, 119436 in 1992, 59764 in 2002 and 36884 in 2011.

The final pillar of KI’s personality we’ll be looking at is his Lutheran faith. We have already considered Protestantism on Edutarian, so the relevant question here is to what extent is Lutheran faith a harbinger of economic prosperity. For that, we’ll quote “the Great Divergence” (ec-divergence).

The Great Divergence - graph accompanying the Economist article, showing GDP/person 1300-2000 for Britain, Netherlands, Japan, India and ChinaCultural factors are a popular explanation for European ascendancy. Max Weber, a German sociologist, thought he had the question nailed. In his book “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”, published in 1905, Weber argued that religious factors were crucial for spurring European economic growth. Weber's view centred on Calvinism—a branch of Protestantism—and argued that it encouraged Europeans to be thrifty, rational, and concerned with material gain. Such values did not exist outside Europe where, according to Weber, material wealth was not revered and entrepreneurship was seen as subversive.

Similar arguments have emerged since Weber. Thomas Sowell, at Stanford University, points to the British as responsible for no less than the invention of freedom. In Mr Sowell’s view, the British were a shining light of economic development, which other countries gradually learnt to imitate. (Fascinating new research explores a similar theory: that learning best practices from others is essential to growth and becomes harder the greater the cultural distance from economic leaders.)

But other historians reject the idea that European cultural superiority caused the Great Divergence. Rather, it was their plundering and pillage of foreign lands which was responsible. According to James Blaut, an American historian, the year 1492—when Christopher Columbus landed in America and set off centuries of European colonialism—“represents the breakpoint between two fundamentally different evolutionary epochs”. From 1492 onwards, Europe pulled in raw materials, currency and labour, and deliberately held back the rest of the world.

In short, KI’s Lutheran faith is not what Weber was talking about (even assuming he was correct, and that’s a big assumption), but rather Calvinism, which came after Luther’s breakthrough and was somehow more grounded, balanced, and less prone to depressive contemplation. Being German is not a guarantee for success or industriousness.

LE: For the sake of completeness, here’s a few PDFs on (and by) Weber’s ideas: umn, stanford, uvm, harvard, ugr, iastate, usask, crema, upf, nw.

I have met and known a German person whose family used to live for a few generations in Kazakhstan but returned to Germany a couple of decades ago. She had an extremely conservative religious upbringing, but gave it all up, turning atheist, shortly after we’ve met. Though she was fluent in Russian, German and English, to me it seemed that her Russian was stronger than anything else and she even spoke English with a Russian accent (as much as she hated to be told that). That’s a story better kept private.

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I once attended a church dinner with my Latvian friend and got to meet the community around the Lutheran church in a big city. I didn’t get to talk much to their priest (she was quite stern), but I talked to her husband, who was a “United Church” priest. Yet that talk was mostly about religion in general – we agreed on most subjects we attacked, either because we really did see the world similarly, or he was incredibly nice and agreeable.

Is Iohannis really that religious, or is he simply answering that question the way he thinks the electorate wants him to answer? Historically, most Protestant countries and particularly Lutheran ones such as Scandinavians and Baltics, have been very religious – see their education in Evil / Ondskan (2003). Today, despite keeping crosses on their flags, Scandinavians are leading the world in non-religiosity (e.g., Sweden). On the other hand, diaspora and isolated communities have always tried to preserver their core values through religion, sometimes more so than their Vaterland.

It remains to be seen whether Iohannis will manage to fulfill most of the hopes that he is now carrying. If he does, he will do so with the help of his Personal Jesus, rather than the “generally Christian” one.

Sources / More info: imdb-ingmar, hn-portret, fs-pastor, wiki-saxons, wiki-drang, wiki-lebensraum, ec-divergence, mema-cardassian

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Friday, November 21, 2014 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
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