Memorial Days

500 years of Reformation

As of October 31, 2017

For the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation there is a flood of events and publications about Martin Luther, his dispute with the Pope, the evangelicals[1] Theologies and the history of the Protestant[2] Churches.

At this point we do not want to appreciate Luther's personality or consider his worldview; Many others have already done this at length. Rather, we try to see the Protestantism founded by Luther in an expanded, historical context.

The West in upheaval

In the 15th and 16th centuries there were a number of decisive events that changed the situation in Europe for good.

The most outstanding of these events are briefly mentioned:

The Renaissance (15th - 17th centuries)
At the end of the Middle Ages, the attitude towards life of the Westerners was still dominated by Christianity, but expanded through the return to antiquity (Renaissance = rebirth) with its pre-Christian philosophy and its technical and organizational achievements. These two great streams of thought - Christian faith and ancient knowledge - collided.

The outward manifestations of Christianity were far removed from the teachings of its founder and must have appeared highly unsatisfactory to any thinking contemporary: the church was secular, the popes were politicians of power, priests, monks and nuns were often rotten, the dues to the clergy were oppressive.

These abuses were most sharply evident in the German Empire, which had broken up into over a thousand cities, counties, dioceses, abbeys, duchies and princes. In this patchwork quilt of a state, feuds between cities and counts and the acts of violence of the knights rumbled. The emperor of the “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation” ruled almost only formally and had to watch this miserable goings-on largely powerless.

Book printing (around 1450)
Johannes Gutenberg (1397-1468) invented letterpress printing with movable metal letters[3]. After years of effort he was able to print the famous 42-line Latin Bible (edition of approx. 180 copies). This epoch-making invention could not be kept secret and soon found widespread use. Now pamphlets, pamphlets, books could be distributed in larger editions and faster than ever before. Without this invention, which marks the beginning of an “early information age”, the Reformation is hardly conceivable.

The Turks conquer Constantinople (May 29, 1453)
For more than two millennia, the main contributions to European cultural history, the most important developments in the West, took place primarily around the Mediterranean. With the conquest of Constantinople, the West was cut off from the Middle East. Greece and large parts of the Balkans became Ottoman rule. The Middle East and North Africa, once Christian core countries, had been in Islamic hands since the 7th century.

The “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation” was engaged in a tough defensive battle against the Ottoman Empire, whose troops stood in front of Vienna for the first time in 1529. As a result, the German Reich lacked the military strength to take decisive action against Protestantism, so that it can be said that without the Turks there would have been no Reformation.

The lucrative oriental trade collapsed. B. Venice had become rich and powerful. Turkish and Arab pirates threaten the trade and the Mediterranean coasts of the Europeans (cf. “Slave robbery in the Mediterranean”, in “Brief, scarce, curious” page 285). Oriental traders kept increasing their prices. The Mediterranean region lost its importance, albeit so slowly that the flowering of Italian art could continue into the 16th century.

The eyes now had to be directed to the west, out to the long neglected Atlantic. In exploring the sea routes across the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal and Spain preceded the other seafaring nations.

The discovery of America
While searching for a western sea route to India, Columbus discovered the "West Indies" (Caribbean), which he believed to be the foothills of Asia. (Cf. “Columbus and the flat earth”, in “Short, brief, curious” page 63).
The colonial age is dawning.

Vasco da Gama lands in Calicut (May 20, 1498)
After many voyages of discovery by the Portuguese along the West African coast to the Cape of Good Hope, the longed-for sea route to India has finally been found. The oriental trade can now establish direct connections to the producing countries in the distant "East Indies" across two oceans (Atlantic and Indian) and avoid long, expensive land routes and middlemen.

Luther's 95 theses (October 31, 1517)
In this atmosphere, heated by discoveries, new ideas, criticism of the church and social imbalances, Martin Luther (1483-1546) published his famous 95 theses. It is controversial whether he posted it, as one often hears, at the castle church in Wittenberg.
These theses and other fundamental writings of Luther started a movement of immense proportions: the breakthrough of the Reformation, characterized by three other significant writings of Luther:
* August 1520: One political Program font: "To the Christian nobility of the German nation".
* October 1520: One dogmatic Program font: "Of the Babylonian Captivity of the Church".
* November 1520: One ethical Program font: "Of the freedom of the Christian".
Book printing and the increasing literacy of the people made it possible for the new ideas to spread quickly.
The publications of the rebellious Augustinian monk called the Pope's authority into question. The Pope was outraged and responded with the excommunication. Luther publicly burned the corresponding papal bull; a direct provocation of the Holy See!
From Luther's point of view it was a struggle for a purer faith, from the papal point of view a power struggle.

Maghellan circumnavigated the world (September 20, 1519 - September 6, 1522) 
The first circumnavigation of the world by Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), which he did not survive, provided a new, larger picture of the earth. America was now clearly identified as the fourth continent[4]. For the first time the vast Pacific was crossed by a European ship. The actual size of the earth was thus also proven through practical experience. (See. "The first circumnavigation of the earth„)

The Copernican Turn (1543)
In the year of his death, Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) published his "Six books on the orbits of heavenly bodies". He went back to a very old idea that Aristarchus of Samos (approx. 310-230 BC) had already proposed: Not the earth, but the sun is at the center of the world. The planets, including the earth, revolve around the sun.
From a modern point of view, this is just a "coordinate transformation": You choose a fixed point (in this case the sun instead of the earth) in such a way that you get the simplest equations!
But in Luther's time things were seen differently. Luther himself called Copernicus a fool because the Bible says it clearly:
“At that time, when the Lord gave up the Amorites to the Israelites, Joshua was talking to the Lord; then in the presence of the Israelites he said: Sun, stand over Gibeon and you moon over the valley of Ajalon! And the sun stood still and the moon stood still until the people had taken vengeance on their enemies. " (Jos. 10, 12).

The heliocentric world system of Copernicus not only revised the astronomical position of the globe, but also degraded the religious and philosophical significance of man, who no longer lived as the “crown of creation” in a special place in the “center of the world”. Above all, it contradicted the Bible, the most important source of truth and basis of Christian religions. It could only be a matter of time before other dogmas of the churches were also called into question.

Church divisions

The first, the “Great Schism”, was the division of the Christian churches into East and West Rome in the 11th century. Russia also adopted the Eastern Roman (Greek Orthodox) faith. Europe was divided religiously; with far-reaching social and political consequences up to the present day. (Cf. “Brief, terse, curious” on page 290 “Cheerful, good-drinking and splendid”).

In the 16th century, Luther's theses acted as an initial spark. The Roman Church was too self-righteous and too sure of its power. Many believers were deeply disappointed in their church and turned to the numerous new, church-critical thoughts. Reformation ideas reached all social classes and spread like a wildfire that could no longer be extinguished. Reformed churches were founded especially in Central and Northern Europe.

This second religious split in Europe led to the dissolution of national and state unity in some countries. A uniform religion for all of Western and Central Europe could not be restored either by the Counter Reformation or by religious wars.

Protestants rejected what they saw as the exaggerated pomp of the Catholic and Orthodox churches; they preferred simpler rituals in simpler churches. Monasteries were secularized.
The sale of indulgences, the veneration of saints, processions, the veneration of relics, pilgrimages, the belief in miracles, and many religious holidays were abolished. Accordingly, there were more working days: That was the start of the "Protestant work ethic", which was later quoted a lot.

Peasant Wars and Wars of Religion

The Catholic Church did not want to accept the loss of power associated with the split of the Protestants. She found support from Catholic princes, including the Emperor Charles V, who wanted to preserve the religious unity of the empire - if necessary with violence. This inevitably led to armed conflicts.

The Peasant Wars (1523-1526)
The peasant wars were the first socio-religious dawn of the Reformation in Germany. We have already reported on the legitimate concerns of the common people and the brutal suppression of the revolts. ("When the authorities say. two and five are eight, you have to believe it", Under" Strange Stories ").

Wars of Religion:
Wars of religion and belief in the narrower sense are only a phenomenon of modern times. They always referred to major intra-Christian conflicts in early modern Europe. Nobody called the clashes with the "infidels" of the Ottoman Empire a religious war. (5, p. 4).

The Schmalkaldic War (1546-1547)
Emperor Charles V wanted to enforce the religious unity of the empire. This led to a war between the Catholic parts of the empire and the Protestant parts Schmalkaldic League. This war, without major battles, ended unfortunate for the Protestant movement. But the victory of the imperial troops was not enough to eliminate Protestantism and restore the unity of the church. The religious divisions and discontent in the German Empire continued, and the emperor's power and reputation suffered.

The Augsburg Religious Peace (1555)
The religious unrest in the German Reich could only be contained by the Peace of Augsburg; a tentative first step towards religious tolerance. ("The modern age is still beginning", under "Remembrance Days"). It was a compromise that lasted for sixty years until the most devastating of all religious wars.

The Counter Reformation (roughly between 1555 and 1648)
The successes of the Protestant movement forced renewal movements within the Catholic Church, which not only wanted to change the Church, but above all wanted to push back Protestantism. The main battlefields of the Counter Reformation were Germany and the Netherlands.
The Jesuit order founded by Ignatius von Loyola (1491-1556) in 1534 became the epitome of the Counter-Reformation. This order operated smart politics, was open to the sciences and developed new ways in school education and mission. His influence on politics brought him into conflict with Catholic rulers. This gave rise to a counter-movement that led to the Jesuit order being banned in many countries in the 18th century.

The Thirty Years War (1618-1648)
This horrific war began with the attempt of the Habsburgs in Vienna to exterminate Protestantism in their hereditary lands. To do this, they secured the support of their Spanish cousins.

The armed conflicts began in Bohemia with the Battle of White Mountain (November 8, 1620). The Protestants were beaten and pushed far north. The Protestant cause seemed lost for Germany.
Then in 1630 the Protestant King of Sweden, Gustav II Adolf (1594-1632), landed on the Pomeranian coast. His victories against the imperial troops saved Protestantism in Germany. Even after Gustav Adolf's death in the Battle of Lützen near Leipzig, the dreaded Swedes still played an important role as a European power.
After all, in addition to the Austrian and Spanish Habsburgs, German Catholics, German Protestants and Swedes, French and English were also involved in the bloody clashes on German soil. From the religious war a struggle for supremacy in Europe developed between France, Spain and Sweden, which led to the decline of Spain. (Cf. “In a nutshell, curiously” on page 346 “How religious fanaticism ruined countries and empires”).

The leading figure of the French government, the Catholic Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642), waged war against the Habsburgs who wanted to restore the Catholic faith in apostate countries! That is power thinking of the modern age, unencumbered by religious ties!

In the end, all parties were exhausted, and Germany was largely devastated. The war ended in the Peace of Westphalia, which rejected the hatred that had built up during the thirty years of the war and demanded mutual forgiveness.

Germany paid the bill. The alleged victors - France and Sweden - annexed parts of the empire; Catholic Bavaria, which had also suffered badly, received the electoral dignity[5]; Switzerland and Holland became independent.

The spiritual center shifts to the north

Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the Italian city-states, with their flourishing economies, offered the most brilliant examples of Western art and culture. However, they were at odds with one another, lived in an unstable political equilibrium that ultimately overturned and made Italy the plaything of foreign powers. (Cf. “Short, concise, curious” page 323 “A Renaissance prophet in the fickle of the masses”).

Above all, the countries in Northern Europe renounced the Catholic Church: Most of Germany, England, parts of France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Scandinavia. State churches were founded and reformers or even mystics appeared in many countries who turned away from the Catholic Church. The best known - after Luther - are Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) in German-speaking Switzerland, Jean (or Johannes) Calvin (1509-1564) in French-speaking Switzerland and in France, John Knox (1505-1572) in England. Unfortunately, the reformers and their congregations were also at odds with one another. So could z. B. Luther and Zwingli do not agree on the spiritual meaning and form of the Lord's Supper. This highly complex theological topic was to occupy the various Protestant congregations for a long time to come[6].

Europe was split into a predominantly Protestant north and a Catholic south. This rift ran through the middle of Germany.

With the Reformation, the focus of scientific research and modern philosophy shifted. For despite all the Lutherans' dogmatic ties to the Bible, the only recognized religious tradition, the spiritual climate in the Protestant countries became more open and freedom of expression more possible than in strictly Catholic countries such as Italy, Austria, Portugal and Spain. Here priests and princes feared for their power and suppressed all suspicious, oppositional thoughts with counter-reformation, inquisition and heretic trials.

The struggle for the supremacy of Catholicism turned into a struggle against modernity. Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), the visionary propagandist of the Copernican revolution, was burned as a heretic in Rome, and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) had to renounce the Copernican view of the world. Deterrent examples for other progressive thinkers?
So it was no coincidence that the dawn of the natural sciences did not originate in the Mediterranean, the leading region for many centuries. We owe a first, important step towards the "New Science" (natural science) to the Italian Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), but for a long time he remained the last, very great scientist in the South. (Cf. “Brief, concise, curious” page 218 “The father of the new science”).
The Protestant Netherlands became a forerunner of the industrial revolution in the midst of the struggle for freedom against Spain, not least through Simon Stevin (1548-1620). (Cf. “Brief, terse, curious” on page 178 “The golden age of the Netherlands”). Then, in 1660, English scientists founded the Royal Society, which was devoted to the natural sciences and mathematics. Philosophers like Francis Bacon (1561-1626) and natural scientists like Isaak Newton (1642-1726) were able to publish their theses without fear of persecution.
Important foundations for the industrial revolution that began in the 18th century were laid.
Catholic countries fell behind the predominantly Protestant countries that were more open to progress. Some regions have not caught up to this day. The problem cases of the EURO crisis (especially Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, but with some restrictions also France), which is strictly a debt crisis of states with bad governments, are Catholic or Greek Orthodox countries!

The Protestant work ethic

The in some respects more open, free-thinking Protestants were particularly strict in other respects. Some groups demanded an ascetic, hard-working, Christian life. Lots of amusements - e.g. B. Carnival customs, parish festivals, comedies and much more - were frowned upon by strict Protestants.

Jean Calvin (1509-1564) established a rigorous religious system in Geneva. Here honesty, diligence, thrift, discipline, renouncing pleasure and luxury were demanded in an extreme way. Calvinists were intolerant of those who thought differently.
The Calvinists preached a new approach to work and profession:
“Not leisure and enjoyment, but only action, according to the unequivocally revealed will of God, serves to increase his fame. Wasting time is the first and, in principle, the heaviest of all sins[7]. The length of time in life is infinitely short and precious ... loss of time through socializing, lazy talk, luxury, even through sleep that is more than healthy ... is morally absolutely reprehensible. "
Work becomes an end in itself for life. The Pauline sentence "If you don't work, you shouldn't eat" (2. Thess. 3,10), applies unconditionally and for everyone. The reluctance to work is a symptom of a lack of grace. (8, p. 183 f.).
Anyone who sees work as an end in itself and a life's work will usually increase their property. Therefore Puritanism demands responsibility for one's possessions, which one should keep undiminished for God's glory and increase through restless work. (8, p. 193).

If one follows Max Weber (8) then Calvinism and its ethics of ascetic Protestantism have had a decisive influence on economic development and promoted the breakthrough of capitalism: In England, Holland, Switzerland and the USA; in Germany especially in the states ruled by the reformed Hohenzollerns since 1613 (10). Capitalism has existed in many forms since ancient times, but it has been left to modern times to elevate it to a global principle. (See. "Economic crisis and world conspiracy", under "Economy and social affairs").

In the meantime, the Chinese have internalized the work ethic that was once called “Protestant” and feel that they are the hardest-working people. In October 2011, a European delegation had to be admonished by Jin Liqun, the chairman of the board of the state-owned China Investment Corporation:
“The roots of the evil are the overburdened welfare state that was established in Europe after the Second World War and the labor market regulations that encourage laziness and indolence. People should work a little harder, longer, and be more innovative. We Chinese work like crazy. "

Next to Luther, Calvin was the most important reformer, whose thoughts radiated far beyond his personal sphere of activity and more or less influenced many of the numerous Protestant congregations.

In England and parts of Scotland, Puritanism, which emerged from Calvinism, achieved great importance at times. The elite troop of Puritans (the "ironsides") led by Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) won the civil war between the Crown and Parliament. The monarchy was abolished and King Charles I was executed in 1649.

The Puritan attitude to work and property was carried into the colonies from England.

North America
In the English colonies of North America, Puritans had a great influence on the development of the country. Even today, some commentators want to see a puritanic influence on US politics emanating from the “East Coast Establishment” (the WASPs = White Anglo-Saxon Protestants). For example, in a sense of mission that wants to transfer the economic and political conditions created in “God's own country” to the rest of the world.

After the Thirty Years' War, Germany was split into a predominantly Protestant north and the Catholic south, which northern Germans long viewed as a backward agricultural region.

The industrial revolution reached the northern, predominantly Protestant part of Germany first. Catholic Bavaria, which is more oriented towards Italy, actually only became an industrialized country after the upheavals caused by two world wars.

Was Prussia the typical Protestant country?
Not really. Because in Prussia people were not fanatically religious - unlike many Protestant communities. Huguenots[8] from France, Protestants from the Salzburg region, Dutch, Austrians and even Russians were accepted. Polish and Silesian Catholics were able to remain faithful to their religion, and the Jesuit order, which the Pope had abolished, was not banned in Prussia.
The migrants mostly brought little belongings with them, but often technical and scientific knowledge that was urgently needed. Quite apart from the fact that the Prussian regions were only sparsely populated and could accept immigrants.
The typically Prussian overestimation of the military, discipline, a high sense of honor, well-functioning administration, simplicity, industry, legal certainty, religious tolerance and an authoritarian, but by no means bellicose state, are part of what is now frowned upon, typically Prussian. In Prussia's heyday under the enlightened Friedrich II (King 1740-1786), religions did not play a major role.
When the King of Prussia became German Emperor in 1871 and Prussia rose (or went under) in the German Empire, the typical Prussian virtues gradually disappeared. In their place came the megalomania of the empire.

The consequences of the Reformation

Luther wanted a modest reform of the Catholic Church. It triggered a conflagration that has lastingly changed Europe and the world over the centuries.

Fragmentation of Christianity
The unified Catholic Church, which spiritually ruled the West, was broken. Two traditional Christian churches (Catholic and Orthodox), numerous Reformed (Protestant) churches and parishes, fought jealously for their influence on the souls of the people and the actions of those in power. What was to be made of the various “Christian” doctrines, which often contradicted each other?
Church hierarchies, but also secular rulers “by God's grace” fell into the twilight.

The religious basis collapses
artin Luther had questioned the authority of the Pope and called for an internalized faith based strictly on the "Holy Scriptures". Luther did not accept post-biblical revelations, writings by the church fathers, council resolutions, papal encyclicals, etc. as the basis of faith.
Due to the "Copernican turn", the credibility of the Bible, the undisputed basis of Christianity for many centuries, suffered. Then linguists and historians dared to critically examine Christian traditions.
Who could still be believed, which ethics were valid, where could one recognize God's will when the Bible was no longer the “Holy Scriptures”, the “Word of God”, but only an old, perhaps venerable, collection of Jewish legends and uncertain Christian traditions?
How were the religions legitimized as such?

Luther's lasting effect:
“Even today, opinions can be divided about Luther's religious views. Arguably his greatest achievement was breaking the power of the church. However, he made faith even more the center of life. Luther assumed that humans do not even have free will because everything is determined by God. Luther did not bring people greater self-determination; he fought everything that spoke against his ideas. Finally, he was accused of being the 'Pope Wittenberg'.
Nevertheless, with his new path of faith, Luther ushered in a new era, perhaps a better one. Because with Luther, people began to question religion and its practice on a massive scale. That promoted rationality, reasoned thinking. People gained personal freedom. This development eventually led to a separation of church and state and allowed all possible forms of religion, including atheism.
So today the deep belief in God, who determines all of life, has disappeared, at least in large parts of the western world. At the beginning of this development stood Martin Luther, who with his Reformation wanted to lead people to the "correct" faith. "
Andreas Venzke (7, p. 99).

Rationality instead of spirituality

The common people remained religious for centuries. It followed its pastor or pastor and was neither eager nor able to understand, let alone question the pillars of its religion. The leading circles are different: artists, mathematicians, scientists, philosophers. In their eyes the religions had run down. The best thing to do is to get rid of them. From a political point of view, religions could at best serve as a regulator for ordinary people who, out of custom and tradition, clung to their religion with its festivals and rites.

Rationalism, logical thinking, superseded religiosity and spirituality among intellectuals. The philosophy of the Enlightenment, the scientific revolution, a skepticism widespread in educated circles, often paired with hostility to the Church, determined the intellectual climate of modern times.

Freedom of conscience

Martin Luther brought an idea into the world that became an instrument of war in the hands of demagogues:

The thought of freedom.
“The freedom that Luther meant was that of a deeply religiously committed conscience bound to God. This freedom makes man the measure of all things, it only bows before the authority of God. " (9, p. 230).
Luther's concept of freedom was supposed to enable people to choose the "correct" religion, the evangelical religion. In no case should the state authority be undermined.
"In the course of history, the human being raised to the standard first breaks the shackles of dogma and hierarchy, then those of feudal and monarchical powers, and finally he also throws off the burdensome authority of traditional and living models, of the previously valid scales of values and any leadership ... .
I.In the name of freedom, the Cromwell armies plunder and desecrate in Ireland, the Calvinists in Geneva, the Puritans in the New England states; In the French Revolution, the blood victims of the September murders and later those of the 'terreur blanche ' [9] brought, one danced around the guillotine like around the trees of freedom, one slaughtered classes and classes that prove to be an obstacle to a certain form of freedom. All revolutions write 'freedom' on their banners and spread it with cannons, volleys and bayonets, by stealing their freedom from other human beings. " (9, p. 230).
Today there is hardly a term that is more abused by demagogues, political propagandists, revolutionaries and seducers than "freedom".

Everything is shaking

Medieval people were allowed to feel secure in a cosmos controlled by God's will.
Under the cover of the celestial bell, the earth was in the center of the world. The seven changing stars circled around the earth (moon, Mercury, Venus, sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). In the stars in the firmament one could see windows of heaven in which God was enthroned. He knew everything, saw everything and directed everything. In the interior of the earth there was then the underworld, hell to be presumed.

The will of God was revealed in the Holy Scriptures, on which the earthly order in church and state was built. Sinful man had to humbly submit to the will of God and faithfully obey the authorities in church and state.

In modern times, the fixed points of this medieval understanding of the world broke away:
* The "Church that alone saves" had to be questioned and faced competition.
* The earth lost its special position in the center of the world.
* Giordano Bruno saw in the fixed stars suns like our sun; surrounded by planets where people in need of salvation live like us. Against this background, how was the uniqueness of the mission of Jesus to be understood?
* The Bible had to be questionable. Was it “God's Word” or just a tradition handed down by erring people?
* Finally, rationalism questioned everything: holy scriptures, religions, traditions, systems of rule. Christian ethics lost the unifying force that had once united all social groups in the West. From now on, the individual and his or her well-being are in the foreground. The common religion, a worldview recognized by all as the basis for state and society, was lost.

Today, in a globalized world dominated by the economy, fragmented into many states, forms of government, traditions and religions, the unifying, great idea is sought.
Can it be “free democracy”?

(1) Darwin John, The Imperial Dream, Campus, Frankfurt, 2010.
(2) Der Spiegel, 45/2011, page 134.
(3) Ertl Thomas, All roads led to Rome, Jan Thorbecke, Ostfildern, 2010.
(4) Lutz Heinrich, Reformation and Counter-Reformation, Oldenbourg, Munich, 2002.
(5) History of Practice 6/2009, Westermann, Braunschweig.
(6) Sethe Paul, Fateful Hours of World History, Heinrich Scheffler, Frankfurt, 1952.
(7) Venzke Andreas, Luther and the power of the word, Arena, Würzburg, 2007.
(8) Weber Max, The Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism, CH Beck, Munich, 2006.
(9) Zierer Otto, Ideas move the world, Prima, Gütersloh, 1978.

[1] Reformed churches chose the term "evangelical" to make it clear that they only accept the Bible as a source.
[2] Christian denominations that emerged after the Reformation and do not recognize the Pope are called Protestants.
[3] The first typefaces with movable metal type were printed in Korea in the 12th century.
[4] The Florentine Amerigo Vespucci, who gave the fourth continent its name, had already suggested after a trip to the New World in 1501/02 that it was a continent.
[5] The seven electors chose the German king.
[6] The words of Jesus at his farewell meal (Matt. 26, 26-28 or Mark. 14, 22-24) were already misunderstood by his disciples. Abd-ru-shin clarified this in his lecture “This is my meat! This is my blood ”. (“In the Light of Truth”, Volume 2, Lecture 47).
[7] The American motto “time is money” was not invented at the time, but it is precisely this way of thinking.
[8] Huguenots = Confederates. Calvinist Reformed in France.
[9] Terreur blanche = the white horror between 1815 and 1820. The bloody reprisals of the returning emigrants against supporters of the revolution and Napoleon.