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英汉双语《西南联大英文课》38:希特勒之谜_斯蒂芬·H.罗伯茨

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2018年07月02日

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38 THE RIDDLE OF HITLER

By Stephen H. Roberts

THE RIDDLE OF HITLER, by Stephen H. Roberts, in Harper's Magazine, February, 1938, pp. 253, 254.

Life in the new Germany has been described as “mythology brought to life.” Stephen H. Roberts's “The Riddle to Hitler” is an attempt to get inside the godhead of this mythology. Dr. Roberts is an Australian, professor of Modern History at Sydney University, and is regarded as an authority on international affairs. Some time ago he determined to investigate the Nazi régime as thoroughly as possible. He went to Germany and was able to secure unusual privileges from the Foreign Office and the Ribbentrop Bureau. Using these privileges to the full, he spent sixteen months combing the country and amassing material. From this material Dr. Roberts has compiled a book soon to be published under the title The House that Hitler Built, and in that book this short sketch will appear.

A strange man, this Adolf Hitler. He is infinitely polite and courteous in his interviews, pausing perceptibly after every statement in case there is something his questioner wishes to add. He is punctilious to the point of quixotism in acknowledging the salutes of his men and in himself saluting the standards. The odd feature is that he never seems at ease in formal gatherings or when being spoken to. He seems a hunted being and is always ready to find refuge in making a miniature speech, even when one asks him a question that could be answered by a single word. In making a speech he is at least on firm ground. There he does not have to think, for he has said it all thousands of times and will keep on saying it until he dies.

One fundamental fact is that Hitler never has any real personal contacts. The charming pictures one sees, in which he is taking bouquets from tiny tots or grasping the horny hands of picturesque old peasants, are all arranged. They are triumphs of the photographic skill of his old friend Hoffmann: Hoffmann blots out the surrounding guards and we see the result. The Führer is never alone.The giant Bruckner is always with him, and his “suicide-brigade” of special guards surround him everywhere. He goes out in his enormous Mercedès car (specially constructed so that he can stand up in front and receive support so that he is not wearied), and it is always preceded and followed by motor cyclists and a whole fleet of cars with S. S. men. He lives in an unnatural detachment that makes his disease of being a godhead batten on itself: the most balanced of human beings could not stand this kind of life without losing a sense of realities, and nobody would call Hitler emotionally balanced at the best of times. Most commentators make a great fuss about his diet or his celibacy; what seems to me far more important is his lack of ordinary human contacts. Abnormal himself, the constant adulation makes him pathological. He receives only the thrice-distilled views of the fanatics, intriguers, and genuine patriots round him. Nobody can tell him anything or speak frankly, still less criticize his policy or himself. He lives in a mental world of his own, more aloof than any Sun-King, and he has only the narrow mental equipment and experience of an agitator to guide him. Unless one accepts the prevalent German view that he gets his inspiration direct from God (one of the most powerful Nazis once said he had a private line to heaven! ), one must conclude that the future of Germany and the peace of the world rest on the tangled working of the mind of one man whom not even his friends would call normal. It is the most extraordinary comment on human evolution that, in this age of scicnce and progress, the fate of mankind rests on the whimsy of an abnormal mind, infinitely more so than in the days of the old despots whom we criticize so much.

But the final enigma remains. Granting that Hitler is a dreamer, a creature of emotion, a man of ordinary mental caliber, a gripping orator, a simple-living Führer with an almost divine sense of his mission—how did such a man rise to power and consolidate the nation in his first four years of rule? Many reasons seem to offer partial explanations of this. He was the most popular orator during a time of political chaos and national depression; his general philosophy about Deutschland erwache! fitted in with the psychology of the nation, so that his movement became a national narcotic; he had marvelous subordinates and, with them, built up the best Party organization; his simplest mentality enabled him to carry through a complex revolution before which a mind more clearly analytical of the consequences would have quailed; and finally he became the Mythus of the German people. The man was merged in the myth, and it became his task to think and act in terms of that myth, so much so that any power in the land which might supplant his Party would probably have to keep him as nominal Führer. The Hitler myth is the dominating fact in German life to-day. Indeed, he sees himself no longer as a person but as the Crusader who has captured the Holy City—the embodiment of a nation—the living and inspired voice of Germania—Der Führer in the most mystical sense of that word—and must one ultimately add:Der Führer-Gott?

参考译文

【作品简介】

《希特勒之谜》,作者斯蒂芬·H.罗伯茨,载于1938年2月出版的《哈珀杂志》,见于253、254页。

【作者简介】

有人描写二十世纪三十年代的德国人是“生活在‘神话’中”。斯蒂芬·H.罗伯茨的《希特勒之谜》,尝试揭开这个“神话”的内幕。罗伯茨博士是澳大利亚人,悉尼大学的现代历史学教授,被认为是国际关系方面的权威。在二战中,他决心尽可能彻底地调查纳粹德国政权的真相。他去了德国,并得到了纳粹德国外交部及外交部部长里宾特洛甫给予的特权。罗伯茨充分利用了这一特权,用十六个月的时间彻底梳理这个国家的现状、搜集资料。利用这些资料,他写出了《希特勒建造的帝国》这本书,不久即出版。本文就选自这本书。

38 希特勒之谜

这个阿道夫·希特勒真是个奇怪的人。在采访中,他极为客气,彬彬有礼,在每句话后都有意停顿一下,以免采访者想插话。在他的手下向他敬礼时,他的回礼以及他向纳粹党旗敬礼时的一丝不苟,几乎到了堂吉诃德式可笑的地步。但奇怪的是,在正式聚会或别人跟他说话时,他似乎从来没有轻松自在过。他似乎是一只被追捕的猎物,随时准备寻求庇护,而他的庇护就是发表一个简短的演说。即使别人的问题一两个字就能回答,他也要做个演说。在发表演说时,他至少有个坚实的基础。他不需要思考,因为这些话他已经说了几千遍,而且会一直说到死。

一个根本的事实是,希特勒从来没有跟他人有过真正的个人接触。我们看到的那些迷人的照片,无论是他从小朋友手里接过花束,或者握着那些给人印象深刻的老农的粗糙坚硬的手,都是预先安排好的。这些照片是他的老朋友霍夫曼的摄影杰作。霍夫曼把照片上希特勒周围的卫兵挡在了照片外,这才有了我们看到的结果。元首出现时从来都不是一个人。巨人布鲁克纳跟他形影不离,而且无论到哪里,都由特别卫兵组成的“敢死队”前呼后拥。他出门时总是乘坐他那辆硕大的梅赛德斯奔驰车(特制的,以便他可以站在前排并有所倚靠,不致太疲乏),而且前后都有党卫队组成的摩托车队和汽车队护卫。他生活在一种极不自然的与其他人的隔绝中,这使他更加狂妄自大,给自己打上神性的标签。即使心智最健全的人,如果长期过着这样的生活,也会失去现实感。而希特勒在最理性的时候,也没人敢说他是情绪稳定的人。大部分评论希特勒的人,在他的饮食和独身生活方面大做文章。而在我看来,他缺乏与普通人接触这一点,更为重要。他本身就不太正常,而长期和大肆的吹捧使他更加病态。他听到的都是他身边的狂热分子、密谋者及死心塌地的爱国者多次蒸馏后的观点。没有人敢对他讲实情,或坦言相告,更不用说批评他的政策或他本人了。他生活在自己的精神世界里,比“太阳王”更加与大众格格不入,只凭着一个政治鼓动者的狭隘心理和经验引导着自己。除非一个人接受当时在德国盛行的观点,即希特勒的灵感直接来自于上帝(某个最有权势的纳粹分子曾经说过,他有直通上天的电话!),那他一定会得出这样的结论,即德国的未来和世界和平如今寄托在一个心智混乱的人身上,而这个人连他的朋友也认为不正常。在这个科学和进步的年代,人类的命运居然寄托在一个非正常心灵的异想天开上,比我们大肆批评的旧专制君主时代尤甚,这真是人类历史上最不同寻常的事件!

但是,最令人费解之谜依然没有解开。假如希特勒是一个不切实际的人,一个情感动物,一个智力平庸之人,一个能吸引观众的演说家,一个生活简单的元首,对自己的使命感同“神”授——那么,这样一个人是如何爬上权力的顶峰,并在他开始统治的四年里统一了德国这个民族?有许多原因可以部分地解开这个谜。首先,在政局混乱和德意志全民沮丧的时期,希特勒是最受民众欢迎的演说家。他的“觉醒吧,德意志”的思想正好契合了当时的德意志民族心理,因此他发起的运动成了麻痹德国民众的精神鸦片。其次,他的追随者能力非凡。与他们一起,希特勒建立了最好的党组织。第三,他头脑简单,这使他能够将一场异常复杂的革命进行到底;如果换了一个能清楚分析这场革命后果的领导人,肯定会畏缩不前。最后一点是,他成了德意志民族神话的象征。他与这个神话融为一体,他的任务就是按照这个神话的要求思考和行动。这种融合到了这样的地步,以至于任何一个在德国取代了希特勒政党的力量,都可能不得不继续把希特勒奉为名义上的元首。希特勒神话是当今德国民族生活中的显著特色。的确,他不再把自己当作一个普通人,而是一个占领了圣城的十字军战士,民族的象征,日耳曼尼亚活着的受神启的代言人,最神秘意义上的元首——我们最终是不是要加上:元首上帝?

(余苏凌 译)


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