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Letters of C. G. Jung: Volume 2, 1951-1961

To Pastor Fritz Pfaffiin

Dear Pastor Pfaffiin, 22 March 1951

I was very glad to hear from you again. Unfortunately I cannot fulfill your wish.

I have so many other things to do and I can’t do nearly as much as I did before.

Nor am I allowed to overwork.

I don’t know what kind of dream material you could mean, and how it is supposed to link up with the unarmed neutrality of Germany.

The disarmament of Germany is itself a dream which could only occur in a sleeping nation-the very nation which has overrun its neighbours twice in a quarter of a century.

It is the dream of a profoundly warlike nation that consciously considers itself harmless and peace-loving.

It must indeed be dreaming if one thinks one can live unarmed in an anarchic world where only guile and force count.

Every German who is not asleep and dreaming knows that it is time, highest time to rearm, and the more consciously he does so the better it will be for peace.

The really dangerous ones are the harmless dreamers who don’t know that they want to perish gloriously yet again through their accursed playing the saviour.

One time they strike their fellow men dead in order to convert them to the new religion of Naziism; the next time they preach disarmament in order to hand over their own country to Russian tyranny.

How would it have gone with us in Switzerland if we had had no army!

People like Herr Noack would have got a pension for doing useful preparatory work, and the rest of us would simply have been stood up against the wall by the culture-bringers.

And that’s how it would be for you too with the Russians, for they also are universal saviours who want to cure the whole world with their own disease, just as the Nazis did.

Do you seriously believe that any robber would be scared off by German disarmament?

You know very well: ” I feel provoked,” said the wolf to the lamb.

One can also be neutral when armed, without falling a victim to militarism.

But unarmed neutrality seems to me, and probably to all non-Germans as well, the acme of failed instinct, to which I would add, from my intimate acquaintance with the German national character, German crankiness, which is something out of this world.

The dangerous thing about Noack’s proposal is that it represents yet another attempt at national suicide.

Whence comes the recklessness or “intemperance” of the Germans, whence their love of national downfall?

When Jacob Burckhardt heard of the declaration of Empire at Versailles, he exclaimed: “That means the downfall of Germany.”

Since then there has been no let-up in these down falling attempts.

One might, it seems to me, try to be reasonable for a change.

I hope, my dear Pastor, you will pardon these humble opinions.

They may make it clear to you why it seems to me quite out of the question-even if it were possible on other grounds-to give serious consideration to your proposal.

Please regard this letter as a private expression of my views. I have no wish to insult the German nation in the shape of its individual representatives.

To have arms is an evil; to have no arms is a still greater evil.

The reasonable man is modestly content with the lesser evil; he prefers to look at heroic Gotterdammerungen and suchlike Herostratic gestures in the theatre, to lock up madmen betimes and not worship them as leaders and saviours.

My words and warnings in this connection are as futile and useless as Jacob Burckhardt’s.

“Si non crediderunt tibi neque a udierunt sermonem signi prioris,” then only God speaks the word.

But let man, mindful of his hybris, be content with the lesser evil and beware of the Satanic temptation of the grand gesture, which is only intended for show and self-intoxication.

Best regards,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 11-12.