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Otto Michael Knab's Fox-Fables

Otto Michael Knab's Fox-Fables


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In the summer and early fall of 1936, Otto Michael Knab published twenty-one fables in the Deutsche Briefe, a Swiss weekly press service edited by Waldemar Gurian and Knab. Two years earlier, Knab had been forced to flee Germany, and his fables are a satiric and shocking commentary upon the corruption of German political, social, and religious institutions under Hitler (the fox). Here are shown the sinister and destructive features of the Third Reich, and the fables, where beasts illustrate the stupidity, perversity, and blindness of various segments of German society, constitute an indictment of Nazi totalitarianism in particular and all totalitarianism in general.

Presented here with a new introduction by Ulrich Lehner, the fables were first printed in English in 1966. Translated by Bernard M. Knab, the son of their author, they provide American readers with a grimly humorous, thought-provoking, and unique account of Hitler's assault upon the German consciousness and upon the Christian philosophy of life. Bernard Knab has also written a biographical account of his father and has made a critical examination of the fables that will be of interest to students of literature and history alike. Each fable has been appropriately illustrated by James Brunsman.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781532632938
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 11/09/2017
Series: Library of Forbidden Books , #2
Pages: 86
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.17(d)

About the Author

Bernard Knab has spent most of his professional life as a college teacher first, and administrator second. In 2002, he retired from his last position as Director of Humanities and Communications at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon. He looks back on his translating The Fox Fables in 1966 with the assistance of his father as a highlight of his academic career.

Ulrich L. Lehner is Professor of Historical Theology and Religious History at Marquette University. He is the author or editor of more than two dozen books on early modern religion, including Catholic Enlightenment (2016), and the main organizer of The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theology (2016).

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From the Publisher

“Ulrich Lehner’s seemingly tireless labors bring to light lesser known historical sources that contribute to our understanding of modern Catholicism, its failures and triumphs. We are in his debt for directing us to Knab’s Fox-Fables a source of resistance to Nazi totalitarianism by Catholic exiles. Knab’s work deserves attention not only for its historical interest, but also because of the need in every generation for resources that illumine the origins of authoritarianism and creative ways to resist it. This work brings before us a marvelous tale in more than one sense.” – D. Stephen Long

Fox Fables is a timely reminder of the power of the powerless, the moral seriousness of unveiling humor, and the unceasing need for the courage to be a good man in a bad city. Perhaps above all, it is a reminder that our moral compass must take its direction from a source beyond any earthly city, even if all the foxes in the kingdom demand otherwise.” – Patrick Deneen

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