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11b The murder of Kotzebue

In his weekly journal «Literarisches Wochenblatt» the writer August von Kotzebue (1761-1819) accused the universities of being the root of liberalism and revolution. His work «History of the German Empires» was one of the books having been burned at the Wartburg festival. On 23rd March 1819 Kotzbue was stabbed by the student Karl Ludwig Sand. The government’s reactions were «Pursue of demagogues» and censorship (Carlsbad Decrees). According to Görres occurred another type of absent-mindedness in addition to the yet existing vanity that made it impossible to accept criticism: fear which even increased woe. For Görres the «pathetic ado», the spying and the arrests were a rebirth of the old arbitrariness. It’s the turn of the people in power to be open-minded about youth. He complained about the fact that every power was seen as offence and every talent as a potential threat. Integration and communication had to be a possible aim. That’s why people had to calm down. When there is hostility, a peaceful coexistence is out of reach, because both sides are open to use violence. The murder has been unchristian, but the victim has been acting carelessly as well. Since «advisers and writers like Kotzebue were defaming respectable people» one question crops up: «What kind of spirit flows through them when they praise the old-fashioned to be God’s order» although they try to cover «a system of lies and deceit». They are not aware of the truth, but want to win the emperor’s favour. They are absorbed by «the adoration of arbitrary power» – the source of their income.