My Travel Diary. 1936: Between Two Worlds by Paul Tillich
Paul Tillich is generally considered one of the century's outstanding and influential thinkers. After teaching theology and philosophy at various German universities, he came to the United States in 1933. For many years he was Professor of Philosophical Theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, then University Professor at Harvard University. His books include Systematic Theology; The Courage to Be; Dynamics of Faith; Love, Power and Justice; Morality and Beyond; and Theology of Culture. This book was edited by Jerald C. Brauer. Translation by Maria Pelikan. Published by Harper & Row, New York, Evanston, and London, 1970. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.
Chapter 1. April
Departure; Hannah and Erdmuthe have come on board to see me off. Also Lande, the Simonses, and the Goldsteins. Horkheimer arrives at the last minute with a bottle of cordial. Then, for a quarter of an hour, I am alone. A sense of loneliness overcomes me as I watch the crowd of waving. well-wishing people.
The first lunch aboard ship is unbelievably well prepared. Red and white wines are set out on the table. After lunch I am tired and decide to stretch out on my bunk.
After a short rest I go back up on deck: we are out in the open sea by now, which is very calm and foggy. We pass the Ambrose light ship; it emits fog signals. I take a long leisurely stroll around the entire deck which has as yet not been partitioned off according to classes. It is quite empty. I take a cup of coffee in the social room.
Then I begin work on my lectures.
By dinnertime everyone has been assigned a place in the dining room, and I sit next to a young composer who has just won a prize and has had his work performed by the Philharmonic orchestra.
Across the table from me, a nice elderly lady who tells me she was born in France. After dinner I take another stroll around the deck. There are phosphorescent marine animals afloat in the wake of the ship. I point them out to two sisters, Jewish girls from Chicago who are on their way to Moscow. They are going to visit their married sister there, via an Intourist trip for which they have saved. We walk agreeably about Russia. Later I have a chess lesson. Early to bed, after putting away my things. Wonderful, profound sleep.
April 12; Easter Sunday
I am awakened by the furious pitching of the ship. Take two Vasano capsules. They produce a dry sensation in the stomach, but do prevent seasickness. Warm, moist, sunless Gulf Stream weather.
I settle down in a deck chair on the upper deck, by myself, and continue working on those lectures. By now the three classes of the ship have been partitioned off. My favorite walk on the tourist deck is toward a pilot bridge at the stern. This bridge commands the most sweeping view of the ocean -- from left to right, from right to left. There is not much sun -- a strange atmosphere for Easter Sunday. Later in the afternoon the two girls from Chicago, who are traveling third class, manage to turn up in first.
There is a lavish Easter dinner -- twelve courses and a huge Easter egg. The composer, my former neighbor at the table has disappeared. I am alone with the lady from France. We labor at our French conversation. I understand everything she says, but at first am unable to utter a single French word myself. It is an amazing psychological experience: the English words -- my new language -- have completely blocked my French. Only with tremendous, almost physical effort can I get out any French at all.
Later there is a dance. The two girls from Chicago -- their name is Goldmann -- have returned from their excursion in first class. I dance one dance with each girl. Then I spend a long time on deck. A warm wind is blowing and the sea is full of phosphorescence. Every day we lose almost an hour as the clock is moved ahead.
I get up early. The ship rolls heavily from side to side. Again I have recourse to Vasano. It rains and a sou’wester is blowing. The ocean is magnificent.
After breakfast I return to my cabin. Though I had closed the window firmly, water has sprayed in and all my shirts and several notebooks are wet. The steward closes the iron outer portholes.
The sun comes out for awhile, and it suddenly gets very warm. Later the sun disappears again, the storm increases. In the dining room, bottles and glasses have been placed in special wooden trays with holes to hold them in place.
After lunch I take a nap in my dark cabin. Later, some aimless conversation; later still, I do some work on deck in full view of a splendid warm-stormy sea. Toward evening the sun breaks through the clouds once more.
I encounter an Austrian acquaintance of Heinz Ziegler’s who had once come to see us in Frankfurt. He lives in New York and is a fashion illustrator.
After dinner I get some work done in my cabin. Later I have an extremely successful chess lesson. A starry night -- the first since this voyage began.
The weather has improved. At breakfast I am called upon to interpret between two ladies, one American and the other French. By and large, though, I have not met many people. This is not a very interesting crowd. I enjoy watching two peroxide blonde "flappers" with ditto mother; a Cuban-looking family. I spend many hours alone, in my solitary chair on the upper deck, working. The people in first class are said to be even duller -- according to Ziegler’s Austrian friend. The third class, with several Russia-bound travelers, somehow sounds more promising.
By noon the sky has turned completely blue; the sun burns down, the sea is vast and blue. I work on my lectures for "History and the Kingdom of God." In the afternoon I discover that I have a sunburn as a result of working in the sun for hours. At dinner I am happy to find that my block against the French language is beginning to dissolve at last.
Back on deck after an hour and a half of work. The sea and sky have once more changed completely. A howling southeasterly storm has sprung up; the night is pitch black. There is a salty spray and the wind whistles in the masts. Every evening from 9:00 to 10:00 a "horse race" takes place on board. Tonight, for a change, the six most beautiful girls are "running" in it. Then from 10:00 to 11:00 there is dance music, but not many people seem to want to dance. I am off to bed. From 10:30 the time has jumped to 11:30 by a twist of the clock hand.
The porthole is still closed in my cabin. Outside, the elements are in a fearful uproar.
I awake after a bad night. I suddenly am afraid that I have been left behind on a sinking ship. For a second I experience true mortal terror. I switch on the light and take a sip of water. Then I fall back into a light sleep, close to the storm.
This morning the sea is white and raging. On one side of my favorite bridge the wind blows so fiercely that it throws me back. The ship rolls only very slightly. Ragged clouds . . . cold air. At lunch there are many empty places in the dining room. After a short nap I spend a long time on the upper deck. The ocean is splendid, all black and white with gray clouds above, a gray-blue wake, foaming whitecaps. Later I read Heimann in the lounge, while sipping coffee and listening to a concert. Toward evening I return to the deck, where I meet the wife of an American doctor.
The storm continues with unabating force. At dinner I speak a great deal of French while enjoying a bottle of real sauterne, delicate as a poem. There follows a long evening in the smoking room while next door they are having their horse race and dance. Once again, as in the old days in Berlin, I find myself working in cafes.
I get into a conversation with the doctor’s wife’s sister. She turns out to be Communist. She intends to study in Russia. We get into an argument. She is convinced that a Communist victory is imminent, even in America. She rejects Niebuhr’s teachings.
In the middle of our chess game we are being invaded by the jeunesse dorée from the first class. They want to dance. All are extremely good-looking, quite a different breed from the middle-class people all around us. The first-class passenger list is full of titled names which seems strange, coming from America.
Again I have experienced that oppressive terror during the night, though not quite so bad as the first time. In the morning the sun is out and the ocean is radiantly blue, I work in the sun all day on my lectures for a "Philosophy of History." The ship rolls continuously; but I only need one Vasano.
Baron Ignace d’Ephrussi (this is Ziegler’s friend whose name I have grasped, at long last) and I observe the uncanny speed with which time passes due to the fact that we are robbed of an hour every day.
At night there is an elaborate gala dinner, the big farewell ceremony. We drink the last of the sauterne. The Misses Goldmann invite me to join them in third class. They have a very comfortable room for dancing and drinking there. The walls are painted. Dance music is supplied by a radio.
There are extraordinary people in third class. An old Jew with a skullcap, sitting in one corner, is responsible for the kosher meals on board. There are some towering Italians. And two Canadian social workers, one a Russian girl by birth. They are both going to Russia. There is also a New York family en route to Russia. The mother, who works for a German immigrant committee, dresses in Russian style. As I arrive, a big cotton snowball fight is in progress. I dance with everyone, and enjoy myself ten times more than in the tourist class. Here are intellectuals, proletarians, Communists, Jews.
At the same time there is a gala dinner and gala night in first class. Our "flappers," who, as it turns out, are chorus girls, have been invited to this event, and so have some other young beauties. Anyone who refuses to believe in the existence of class distinctions should have to answer this question: ‘Did you ever cross the Atlantic Ocean on one of the big liners?" Nowhere else in the world are the different classes to be found so close together -- and nowhere else are the contrasts more obvious. A large percentage of the third-class passengers are going to Moscow.
The last day on board. I have changed some money, got my luggage ready, finished the lectures in bright sunlight with a blue sea all around me. The trip has really been too short. I should have had two weeks in order to get everything properly prepared.
Red wine and French food are balm to one’s stomach, even to one that is threatened by seasickness. And everything was so light and excellent that it would have been a shame to abstain.
Unfortunately, on this trip the American element predominated over the French. But my French conversation has grown steadily more fluent. This voyage was like a week’s Easter vacation at a big hotel on the water, with lots of work, rest, few people to talk to, and a beautiful view of the ocean.
As we get closer to Europe, the old Continent takes on greater reality in my mind, and the apocalyptic dreams of shipwreck and drowning cease. We pass other ships now, after six days of not seeing a single one. The ocean here is almost too blue, cold, northwesterly. I pack and go to sleep -- will be awakened at 5:00 A.M. tomorrow,
Awaken at 4:45. A quick breakfast, then passport inspection. They ask me whether I will definitely not seek permanent employment over here.
Up on deck: I see Plymouth Bay in the cold, reddish morning sun; it reminds me of my first arrival in New York. But the landscape is wonderful -- with real European forests!
A motor launch takes us ashore. Then on to London by train. The ride goes through lovely rolling country, full of trees in bud and masses of primroses. The most exciting thing to see is the intense green of the meadows. I ask some Americans how this landscape strikes them, as they are seeing it for the first time. They say: "So clean, and so natural." It is certainly different from the American landscape that has been ravaged by technology, and also from the forbidding wilderness to be found in many nonindustrial regions of America.
The trains here run incredibly fast. Ours does not make a single stop along the way.
At the station are Mrs. Niebuhr and a nice young clergyman named Lister, Oldham’s assistant. We have a typically English lunch together in the railway station restaurant. It is very different from the light French cuisine.
Then we cross London, riding on the roof of a bus. Everything looks very small and old world to me; even London Bridge seems unimpressive compared to Brooklyn Bridge.
From Liverpool Station I leave for Norwich, capital of England’s easternmost county. Thus I have today traversed all of England from the extreme southwest to the extreme east -- in a matter of five hours by train. So small is this country whose political decisions affect the whole world!
Everywhere there is the same rich green; there are trees and bushes; flowers; villages. I feel sad because, while this is Europe, my home -- it is not Germany, and therefore not really my home.
At the station, in Norwich, I am met by Oldham with a magnificent automobile driven by Lord Lothian’s chauffeur. We get in, and are whisked along a winding country road at a speed of 75 miles per hour.
Around 6:30 we arrive at Blickling Hall, one of the most famous country seats of British nobility. Dutch Renaissance, dating back to 1620. I am immediately taken in hand by the butler and two manservants. One of them takes my suitcase in order to unpack it. For this purpose I must leave the room, so that he can have a free hand. Later I will find all my things beautifully arranged and distributed.
Downstairs, Oldham shows me two marvelous paintings by Holbein, a Van Dyck, a Canaletto, etc. On the staircase stands a wooden statue of Anne Boleyn who was born in a house nearby. There is also a huge wall tapestry, a gift from Catherine II to one of Lord Lothian’s ancestors who was ambassador to St. Petersburg. There are several portraits by Lawrence and many other ancestral portraits all bearing an unmistakable family resemblance to the present Lord, the last, childless, heir to the house of Lothian. I meet Lord Lothian himself before dinner -- he is in evening clothes, of course -- a powerful man who would look very well wearing armor. He is a member of the House of Lords and he knows everyone.
Sherry is served before dinner and all sorts of wine during the meal. I sit next to Lord Lothian and we talk about democracy and free trade. After dinner we talk about the Oxford conference. Lord Lothian is chairman. The others are: Oldham; Pastor Menn from Andernach, an old Religious Socialist; Schoenfelt and Ehrenstrom from the Conference Bureau for the Preparation of the Oxford Protestant World Conference; the president of the French Protestant Church Union; one professor each from Oxford and Cambridge; a junior member of the Foreign Office, the Secretary of the Stockholm Conference, a professor of law from Leipzig. The problem: Church and nation.
In the evening we have a practical discussion of the book that is to be written in preparation for the Oxford conference.
After midnight last night I sank into my huge bed -- my head in a whirl. There is a beautiful brocade wall rug at my head, a flickering fireplace at my feet.
This morning I am awakened by a manservant with tea and sandwiches and warm water. Downstairs, a self-service breakfast is laid out. From there I walk out into the princely park.
Outside my window lies a meadow that could have been painted by Böcklin; full of hyacinths of many colors. Farther back there is a stand of ancient, indescribably noble pine trees. On the other side, where the moat used to be, there is now a sunken garden with camellias, and beyond that, a broad swath of lawn bordered by boxwood hedges trimmed in French style.
I find that Menn exactly shares my views on the situation in Germany. From 10:00 to 1:00 -- discussion. I give a résumé of my interpretation of the European situation, and speak out against the English appeasement policy.
After lunch Lord Lothian invites me to join him in an hour-long walk during which he explains his own theory to me: the Western democracies are to protect themselves by keeping aloof from the quarrels of European dictators. Germany is to be appeased and allowed to gain supremacy over Central Europe. France and Belgium will thus be safeguarded.
In the evening the Foreign Office representative tells me that he considers Lothian’s theory untenable. He feels that Germany must never be allowed to gain that much power. He adds that England is always politically paralyzed when faced with real fanaticism because the English imagination cannot grasp a situation that allows of no compromise.
In the debates over the upcoming Oxford conference there are two distinctly different viewpoints: the Lutheran-German and the Anglo-Saxon. I feel that I have somehow come to stand on the boundary between the two.
After the debate I walk through the park alone. I hear, for the first time in two and a half years, that unforgettable concert of bird song. I meet Lord Lothian who is also walking alone. As he puts it: he is seeking respite in nature from human problems. He shows me some pheasants and dozens of deer. None of these animals are ever hunted.
After dinner we have some informal conversation. Then early to bed. The Lothian library, which was bought from a French cardinal, is housed in a long, narrow hall. A Clouet hangs in the study.
Awakened early by the famous cup of tea. Outside, it is snowing. The manservant helps me pack.
At breakneck speed through rain and snow to the railroad station. I have breakfast on the train, then I doze a little, and talk with some fellow passengers.
In London both Niebuhr ladies are at the station. We take a bus ride through the city to the National Gallery. We visit the Italian wing. I can hardly breathe, am almost in tears. These museum walls are irradiated by the same beauty that illuminated our trip to Italy. Here I go from Uccello to Leonardo, to Raphael, to the primitives.
In the German wing I run into the two sisters I had met on the ship. Later I have lunch with an English friend of Barbara’s. We eat in an old city restaurant with open charcoal grill and Dickens’ illustrations on the walls. Next, a brief visit to the uncanny Tower after which I recuperate in a tea room. Then I am off to the conference.
I read my lectures on the "Philosophy of History," which seem to make a strong impression on everyone. Copies are being sent around today. After the reading there is a discussion, then supper, then more discussions.
I am taken to visit an international students’ home with many Indians and Negroes. At ten o’clock Lister whisks me off to his parsonage in London N. E. We ride a bus through long dark streets composed of one-story houses. After New York, they look like shacks.
The parsonage house has been donated by Eton College. I had suggested stopping on the way for a glass of port in a pub. Instead, Lister calls for his Anglican vicar (first pastor), who promptly arrives with two bottles of fine cordial which we manage to finish between us, sitting and talking until midnight in the parsonage office. They are wonderful, cultured men.
I wake up in the middle of the night thinking I am still on board ship. Have to get up and look out the window to convince myself that this is not so.
Up early, I ride to the conference. The discussion goes on till noon. Mr. Espy comes up to me and asks me whether I can take part in the International Conference of Youth Leaders in Lausanne this coming September. I leave the question open. Ursula Niebuhr arrives with a friend, a German-English girl. We eat at the Tate and make fun of the Rossetti period.
The two ladies and I have to go to Mr. Benn’s for tea. Mr. Benn was the Labour Government’s Secretary of State for India. I expatiate on my views about Europe and England’s failure. He becomes quite excited but still agrees with me on many things. He feels strongly that England must not cede any of her colonies to Germany.
Afterward I pay a short visit to the Warburg Institute of Hamburg, which is now located in London. There I meet Sasel with Mrs. Bing, and advise them to stay in England instead of going to New York.
Oldham awaits me at Victoria Station. We take the train to his country house, through lovely rolling country. He has a beautiful garden. Unfortunately, it is ice-cold and snowing. The only warm spot in the house is the fireplace.
At supper we are joined by a middle-aged lady who works for Oldham and who has traveled clear across Central Africa with another woman as her only companion. Also present is Oldham’s married niece who makes her home on the Gold Coast.
After dinner we have coffee beside the fireplace. Later Oldham and I have a quiet personal talk near the fire.
They have put me up in a nearby house which is a combination inn and antique shop. The old Oldhams walk over there with me; she is armed with a hot water bottle for me. Now I am here, sitting beside the cold fireplace, surrounded by antiques, sipping a glass of port, writing this. Today I had my first letter from Hannah.
Up early and into the city with Oldham. I make a number of phone calls at his office. In half an hour I have disposed of my entire day.
First, to the National Gallery where I discover a Michelangelo and several Raphaels. Many French and English painters. One should really have at least a week here to see it all.
Later, in a tea room, I meet Dr. Adler. He had been arrested in the Kuessel, then went to Prague, and is now working at a country school in England. His writings appear in Germany under a pseudonym. His work is greatly appreciated there, because -- as he puts it -- they have only idiots left. He tells me that Claire behaved extremely well; that the Pincusses want to go to Russia, and the Loewenfelds are en route to Syria.
To the telegraph office where Berthe Grossbard expects me, We have lunch together. She has grown older and more mature and is enjoying a great deal of success. She is extremely nice and warm toward me. She takes me to the Lyceum Club where she is now a big wheel. She has struggled valiantly and energetically. She left Italy because of the war and hopes to make her career in London. After we part, I stroll through the amusement section by myself.
At four o’clock I return to the same tea room where I now meet S. She lives here under an assumed name with a man she would like to marry but cannot, because of technical difficulties with passports, etc. We walk through St. James’s Park to Westminster Abbey. She, too, has become older and more mature. She is "working," has seen the Useners and been annoyed by Herrmann’s attitude. She does not believe in P.’s suicide; has become suspected herself; feels cool toward Mannheim and Loewe, who reject her "work."
At six, at the same tea room again, I meet Frau v. Bock who begs me to look after Elisabeth. She tells me that her father has not yet been reinstituted. And that Erhardt, unfortunately, has became very careful -- like Elisabeth. She tells me that the secretaries at the German legation are treated badly; that Ribbentrop caused Hoetsch to have a heart attack. She talks of suitcases standing packed and ready after the Germans had marched into the Rhineland; about a report from the Bureau of Statistics that only 53% voted for Hitler. She says that none of the people she personally knows voted for him. To listen to her, nobody at all is for him.
We have dinner together. She leaves at 8:30, after which I see S. again. She wants me to meet her friend, but we cannot arrange it because I have to call for Oldham at the Athenaeum Club at 9:45.
Back to the country with Oldham. We walk through the starry night to my lonely farmhouse.
Sleep late. I wake up with a sore throat due to the icy cold in my ancient, unheated attic room. I fight down an incipient cold with hot lemon juice and aspirin all through the day.
I give Oldham a résumé of my theory of mass reintegration; of heresy and its rejection by the Synod; of the formation of program and religious orders. He is profoundly impressed.
We take a long walk in sunny, warm, spring weather and listen to the cuckoo and many other birds. Lovely wide vistas open before us. Everything is very green. Oldham says that he finds my idea about religious orders a thousand times more important than the whole Oxford conference for which he is working day and night.
In the afternoon we visit Sir Walter Moberly, a nobleman of low rank -- a "Ford" among the English aristocracy. Above him are Baronet, Baron, Viscount, Earl, Marques, Duke. This gives you an idea of how high up Lothian is -- he is a Marquise -- on this scale. All ranks above Knight are Peers and must be addressed as Lord. A Knight is addressed as Sir. All this, which seems funny to us, has no political significance at all, but tremendous social importance. It is a part of that "conformity" that so impresses Adolf.
Sir Walter was in bed with a sprained ankle. His is a beautiful country house with a fine park full of magnificent old trees; a wonderful view. I remark later that I wish one of our best works could be as fine as the tree Sir Walter sees from his bed.
He is a former Vice-Chancellor of Manchester and is also a philosopher with an excellent background in theology. He and I get along very well. He asks me to give his regards to the Loewes.
At dinner we are joined by Nash, a young clergyman, who maps Out the next evening, which he has arranged, for me.
Later I sit by the fire with Oldham, and something like personal warmth ‘begins to grow up between us. He says he wants to introduce me to the English public, and he wants to see me again in Paris and Geneva. A few times, when I try to take my suitcase off his hands, he assures me quite earnestly that no Englishman could possibly allow his guest to carry a suitcase.
Then to bed.
I pack, call a car, and go to London alone. Take a taxi from Charing Cross to Paddington Station where I finally pick up my two big suitcases that have been waiting there almost a week. By taxi to the Red Court Hotel where the Mannheims are staying. However, they are out at the moment.
At last I have a real room where I can keep all my luggage, change my clothes, etc. Of course, there is no heat except for a gasburner which I turn on immediately.
Wearing my black suit, I go to see an earl. We have lunch with Ursula Niebuhr and an editor of the Economist.
Having arrived too early, I decide to pay a quick visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum for Arts and Crafts. There I chance upon an exhibit of silhouettes by Lotte Reininger who once did a silhouette of me at Hiddensee. I still have it among my things.
The Earl’s wife is a writer. It turns out that she and I both crossed the Atlantic on the Paris -- tourist class -- but did not get to know each other on board.
We discuss English foreign policy. Everyone instantly agrees with my criticism. There is an atmosphere of total confusion and despair. The man from the Economist feels that English politics can come to no good so long as the country is run by dotards. He is sharply against Lord Lothian’s pro-German attitude. But he has a utopian idea that it is possible to create a collective security system based on an exact definition of the "attacker." He feels, though, that at the moment this, too, is hopeless because of the situation in England.
In talking to the Countess I learn that she has been lecturing in America -- on the woman’s question. She tells me that K. has called her a liar, which has infuriated her. She assures me that she has tried to be absolutely fair, and to use only German statistical material. She thinks K. must be an agent of the German government. Yesterday I asked A. about this, since it was he, after all, through whom I met K. He shares the Countess’ suspicion, and he also thinks that K. may be working for the Communists as well, and also for K. He says that this is the way all informers work.
Later Ursula and I go to Oldham’s by car. After she leaves, Oldham and I attend a settlement meeting. There are many intellectuals present. Afterwards we have tea at the house of a very distinguished lady -- beautiful, despite her gray hair. Oldham presents my ideas to a roomful of fashionable young people. After he has spoken, I answer questions from the group.
Next, Nash and Lister take me to the P.E.N. Club. We go by tube: the tube is a series of long, underground conduits, very deep down. There is a separate tube for each track. It is all very loud, hot, and fast. The club, which is devoted to planning research, is near St. James’s Park. I feel that I am really in Europe here. The whole thing reminds me of the Tiergartenstrasse or the Taunus-Anlage.
Dinner is 7:00. About thirty people attend, among them many leading figures. After dinner we settle down in a wide semicircle around the fireplace. I speak on mass disintegration and meaninglessness -- the causes of National Socialism. I criticize England’s pacificism severely. My speech gives rise to a debate that continues until 10:30. What seems to have impressed the listeners most deeply are my remarks about the tragic and ethical elements in the destiny of nations.
At 11:00 I meet Dada Langer. She is now a British subject, thanks to a marriage to an Englishman. We take a long leisurely walk through the streets and watch the theaters let out: many men in dinner jackets, ladies in fur coats but without stockings. Many prostitutes.
We try to get a glass of beer in a restaurant, but have to order sandwiches, since they refuse to serve beer alone. Ten minutes later we get thrown out anyway, because it is now midnight and the place is closing. In a Lyon’s Corner House, a sort of giant Aschinger, they don’t serve any alcoholic beverages at that hour.
Dada Langer is not happy in London -- a feeling she shares with many. She complains that the distances are too great. For instance, she has been able to see S. only once. She has met Teddy only once -- by accident -- in the street. She works very hard and would like to go to the colonies, or to New York. Still, she looks much better now than she did in Frankfurt. She has been to see Steinrath and Gerti Siemsen, and says that both are in bad shape. Both are lethargic-their vitality gone. Dada Langer talks about her own escape from Germany by way of a cemetery near Saarbrücken. As soon as she had crossed the border into France, she went to the first French governor she could find. He tested her -- to see if she really was a student -- by asking: "Where is Professor Tillich?" Answer: "In New York." Correct. ". . . Professor Wertheimer?" "Oh his way to New York." Correct. This was all the proof he asked. Like most refugees, she does not feel at ease in London, except when she is in the company of a few Germans she knows.
I go to bed tired.
Packing my bags until eleven o’clock. I am taking only my briefcase and one suitcase for this week’s trip, and will leave the blue and brown traveling bags in London.
To Manchester; it is a three-and-a-half-hour train ride through the garden that is called England. On this train you are immediately seated at dining car tables -- in third class. Good, inexpensive lunch, accompanied by good conversation.
Adolf and Dora await me at the station and take me to their house by car. They have a big house which stands in a meadow. Inside their fireplace there is a German iron stove which provides an agreeable temperature. Both children have turned out very good-looking; Bea is much more attractive than she was in Frankfurt; Adolf has a strong, rounded face. We all agree instantly, overwhelmingly, on the subject of English politics. After coffee we take a stroll through the nearby park. Everything here is so beautiful and European, even though Manchester is an awful factory town with much rain and fog. We talk a great deal about various friends.
I explain my basic ideas about the religious order. Loewe feels very much alone. He lives as if he has a sinecure, with few actual duties. Many birds sing in the parks and gardens around here.
Late to bed, very tired.
I wake up happy to have a few quiet days ahead. It is Sunday morning: I take a stroll through the park. At the park pond grownups and children sail their large toy boats with incredible passionate absorption. Adolf -- after watching them for awhile -- talks about the English type of conformity which impresses him profoundly. We discuss its causes and whether it would be possible to bring about a socialist conformity, a historically developed uniform attitude, beyond all tensions and conflicts.
During the afternoon and evening we work on the program with very fruitful results. We abandon the idea that the religious order is our task. I agree with Adolf -- as with no other person -- on all essential program points. He feels very positive toward Russia.
Late -- tired -- to bed.
Theological discussion after my sermon and lecture on Protestantism: "New Wine in Old Bottles."
I go for a walk with Gerhard Meyer and his family. We discuss Russia versus America. In the afternoon -- a long stroll through Spath Park which makes me feel as if I were in Dresden.
Debate over the program. Late into the evening with program notes. Ulenspiegel sherry. Bea dreams about my father.
At the university Adolf reads a brilliant seminar on "Expansion and Reorientation" before five unresponsive students. There is a huge poster announcing my lecture.
After Adolf’s lecture we visit a most remarkable Gothic cathedral. Main points of interest: a coffered ceiling, and the tombstone of an ancestor of Moseley, the Fascist leader who is now completely out of the limelight.
Cheetham Hospital: a former parsonage with an old library, which has been made into a school for boys. Even boys from proletarian families can get as far as Oxford from here.
Next, a visit to the slums which date back to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Aesthetically interesting streets composed of one-story houses which contain small flats with comparatively good furniture. Every street. Women in shawls; completely emaciated bodies. There is a sense of hopelessness, caused by unemployment which, in turn, is due to England’s loss of the Indian cotton market. The younger people are being relocated in southern industrial areas. The remaining population gives a resigned impression -- unaggressive. At the same time there is some sort of festivity going on -- a government anniversary is being celebrated.
I spend some time preparing my lecture. At seven o’clock, dinner with Canon Cheetham and his wife, plus about twelve students of theology.
My lecture: on the religious situation in Germany. There is a large audience -- and tremendous applause. During the discussion period I receive a number of questions with detectable Nazi tendencies. At the same time there is a strong sense of "sympathy with the emigrant." After the lecture the Loewes have arranged a reception at which the Stocks, Sir Simon, the Sinclairs, and others are present. The talk is mainly about education.
Sherry and sleep
The Manchester Guardian carries a good article on my lecture of last night. Several people call up and tell me that it has made a very strong impression. Is it the subject -- or the speaker’s ‘nice personality"?
Long discussion of Adolf’s book, The Dynamic of Cycles.
In the afternoon we visit the new housing project with the Stocks. The core of the project is a medieval country house that has gone through repeated renovations, during the Elizabethan and later periods. This house stands in a magni48
ficent park. Sir Simon had bought the place and donated it to the city, which added some beautiful, solid project houses. 1’he whole thing reminds~ me of Britz.
Adolf and I work hard until late into the night.
I must pack and go to the bank, and see the Meyers; one last stroll with Adolf. I strongly agree with his decision to stay. At noon I depart for Edinburgh. The train traverses an industrial landscape first, later the entire countryside around us turns into one big garden. Bay of the Irish Sea. Cattle, stone fences, hills.
On the way to Lancaster I see snowcapped mountains and willow trees still gray with leaf buds. Only in Europe is there such a blue spring sky with such white clouds. Hannah’s second and third letters have reached me by now.
I have a talk with an old white~haired Scot, a type clear out of Shakespeare. The countryside turns bleak. We are now in Scotland and surrounded by many mountains which all seem very high and forbidding. I am put in mind of the wonderful Dickensian secondhand bookstore where we bought the works of Locke and Hume.
Treeless, round-topped mountains. Entrances to mine shafts. As we approach Edinburgh, the landscape broadens. The mountains recede toward the background. Theatrical-looking sheep graze in the meadows.
At the Edinburgh station the Baillies’ son recognizes me instantly. He and Erdmuthe used to have snowball fights in the Quadrangle. We drive into the marvelous garden of the Baillies’ house. The garden has southern needle trees and many flowers. In the house, an excellent room has been assigned to me. Mrs. Baillie is in London.
After a walk through the garden, I dress for dinner, which is a banquet in my honor for the faculty and invited guests.
Baillie and I walk through the ancient streets. All the houses are made of fieldstone. Many are several stories high. Once, these were the palaces of the nobility. They are slum dwellings now.
An ancient stairway leads up to the faculty hall, where about twenty professors are assembled. All are either in dinner jackets or clerical dress, like Baillie.
I am seated at the Dean’s right, next to Patterson. an old systematic theologian. At the end of the dinner the Dean welcomes me officially. Then we move to the fireplace where we sit in a semicircle and coffee is served. Mackintosh and I talk about Kaehler.
Later I deliver a long, completely impromptu speech. I pose three questions: (1) How can we arrive at a principle of reintegration? (2) Is the life o nations tragic or ethical-progressive in character? (3) Is the idea of a "holy nation" an idea which can be turned into fact?
In the discussion which follows, points (1) and (3) get the maximum of attention.
Baillie and I spend an hour together afterward, talking and drinking red wine. He says that my address was "fascinating because of the strange character of your thinking." Next day the Dean says that it was the most interesting evening they ever had in that hall. I am to put the questions and answers in writing and send them to him.
The bed I sleep in is marvelous.