On Borrowed Peace
IF there had been more Germans (and more Japanese) like this unusual prince, a descendant of an old noble family, a devout and rather mystical Catholic, a social radical and a passionate lover of liberty, we should not now be experiencing the sickening horrors of the Second World War. For the world’s tragedy during the last generation has been a tragedy of mass conformity.
This very candid, human, and attractive description of his life and activities during the last decade shows that Prince Loewenstein likes to make gestures, but they are not gestures of conformity. A highly educated man, with a warm romantic feeling for both the classical and the medieval heritage of Europe, he gave up an idyllic retreat in his native Tyrol because the castles and churches and mountains and forests of that lovely land lost their savor for him when there was no longer freedom there. He wandered over Europe fighting Hitlerism wherever he could, as in the Saar, and finally became an itinerant college professor in the United States.
The narrative has some of the weaknesses of youth along with the attractive qualities. The prince sometimes appears to follow his heart rather than his head, especially in his very optimistic estimate of the possibility of overthrowing Hitler by revolution from within at the time of the Munich crisis. But whether he is parleying with a traffic cop who asks him, “Where in hell is Loewenstein?” or correcting the paper of an artless girl student who writes, “Karl Marx was quite a socialite,” he remains a thoroughly likable figure, warmhearted and humorous. One can only hope that some day he will realize his dream of broadcasting a message to America from a free Germany. W. H. C.