Supposedly August Landmesser, a German who refused to do the Nazi salute in Hamburg in 1936 because he was engaged to a Jewish woman.

Supposedly August Landmesser, a German who refused to do the Nazi salute in Hamburg in 1936 because he was engaged to a Jewish woman.

I came across this somewhat iconic photo of a German man refusing to give Hitler a Nazi salute and I thought, that’s eigensinn. My German history professor explained what this kind of behavior was last semester. Eigensinn is German. It means stubbornness. Literally, it means, “own sense.” This man is showing both stubbornness and own sense in the photo. He’s stubbornly refusing to do something that is not within his “own sense” to do. He’s defying the system without really defying it. This picture caught my attention because at this time, especially, most Germans did not practice eigensinn, they were very much kadavergehorsamkeit, they obeyed no matter what. This guy stands out among a sea of sheep, which, if he really was August Landmesser, was why he was killed by the Nazi regime shortly after this photo was taken.

Eigensinn was more of an attitude as a response to the absurdity of life under a bureaucratic regime like the Austrians in Austria-Hungary, for example. A classic example of eigensinn can be found in the book, The Good Soldier Swejk, by Jaroslav Hasek. Swejk was a Czech soldier in Austria-Hungary during the assassination of the Austrian prince and the start of the First World War. The book follows him through his adventure in the war while at the same time satirizing Austrian bureaucracy. Basically, Swejk played dumb and got a kick out of watching Austrian bureaucrats, soldiers, officials, etc.  make fools of themselves. This, because although they were very bureaucratic, they were very unorganized, like most every other governmental institution ever known to man. That’s irony. Anyway, I saw this picture on Twitter and thought, I should blog about that.


, , , , , , , , ,

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Learning how to live well with chronic illnesses through self healing.

The Narcissist's Daughter

Blogger. Survivor. Writing of recovery from Maternal Narcissism, Childhood Abuse, PTSD, MDD, GAD, and living with Chronic Pain.


Psychology to Motivate | Inspire | Uplift

Under the Spell

Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Codependency

Progressive Youth Organization - Kansas City

Dare To Struggle! Dare To Win!

Christopher D. Cantwell, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History & Culture at the Newberry Library

The Abstract Detail

In search of.

Blog of the NCP-LC

Liaison Committee for a New Communist Party


if it's only half the truth, then it ain't truth


...how would you Hack Library School?

The Infornado

An Information Professional hacking everyday life one status update at a time.

Mary Rizzo

Thoughts, theories, and inspirations.

The Next Social Construct

Genocide and it's Many Justifications

Adventures in Research

Take a trip on the nerdy side.

Hungry for Knowledge

History, Museums, Sports, Art, Race and Culture in the Digital World

Digital History Hacks (2005-08)

Thoughts, theories, and inspirations.

%d bloggers like this: