Holocaust and Aviation
Aviation in Nazi Germany as Major Cause for the Holocaust
Poetic and Healing Research
Part I – Chapter 1
Gaston Bachelard and his book Air and Dreams
Author: Avinoam Amizan
Like any previous transportation revolution, from the wheel up to the steamer, Aviation gave its masters the tools for world conquest. But unlike land and sea which are the cradles of human activity, Air is a completely new field of activity. Humanity lacks the cultural background to connect the imaginary vision of flight, central for mental development, to practical aviation activity. The dialectic between flight and airplane is vague and destructive. Problematic relationship between aviation and flight were prominent in the case of Nazi efforts to become world rulers while accelerating aviation development with Racialism.
Famous French philosopher Gaston Bachelard [1884-1962] specialized in the role of imagination. His concept of ‘Dynamic Imagination’ is valuable to anyone interested in developing creative abilities.
According to Bachelard, Imagination is created by any movement. Human will is to integrate with that movement. Thought is the search for way how to do it in practice. Philosopher who wishes to understand mankind must concentrate on learning the poets.
Bachelard described the benefits for the imagination as a result of being united with a one of the four material elements. These elements are good conductors of all that is real and provide continuity to the imaginative mind. World of phenomena present in these way primary examples of change and movement. ‘Poetic End’ is a precursor to the practical end needed by the organism.
In his book "Air and Dreams", published in 1942, Bachelard describes the psychological concepts of flying experience.
Any element which the imagination practice is capable of producing special sublimation, purification and clarification. Aerial sublimation is of the purest type. It is carried on with a light dialectical clarification.
It looks as the flying creature moves beyond the actual atmosphere in which it is flying. There's always room to rise further and the Absolute is the final stage of the consciousness of freedom created in this way. The adjective linked most to the noun ‘Air’ is ‘Free’! Natural air is free air.
The aerial phenomena are the most obvious and regular. They give us guidelines to very important psychological feelings: standing up, growth, climbing, flying and purification. These feelings are the basic principles of Developmental Psychology that can be called ‘Flight Psychology’.
In the heart of every psychological phenomenon there is a real sense of verticality. This verticality is not empty rhetoric. It is a principle of order, scale over which a person can experience various degrees of emotions. Mental life, all delicate and subtle feelings, hopes and fears, moral forces involved in our future, have vertical differential, in the full geometrical meaning of the word. Especially notable are the images and thoughts associated with the fundamental values of the soul: freedom, joy, lightness, sublimation.
Elevation, depth, decline, fall, etc., are axiomatic metaphors par excellence. Nothing explains them and they explain everything. In simple language, if a person wishes to live them, feel them, and above all combine them with real life, he realizes their primary quality and naturalness. It is impossible to express moral values without reference to the vertical axis. Every nerve in the body is a vertical transmitter. The imaginary air is a mental growth hormone for mankind.
If we want to really know how things evolve, the first thing to do is to determine the extent of which they make us heavier or lighter. The positive or negative vertical differential indicates well their impact and purpose for the mind.
First principle of the ‘Ascending Imagination’ is: of all metaphors, the vertical metaphors, such as light, height, elevation, depth, decline, fall, are consensus metaphors above all else. Nothing explains them and they explain everything. More simply, if a person wants to live, feel and above all compare them, he realizes that they have primary quality and are more natural than all others. They are the best expressions of almighty Gravity. Man has to learn to weight them in order to know their value for him.
Although this intangible aerial metaphor concerns us more than substantial metaphors, our language is not adapted to them specifically. Language is conditioned by forms and cannot easily make the picturesque images of dynamic height.
Nevertheless, these images have extraordinary power. They control the dialectic of enthusiasm and despair. Vertical boldness is so vital and clear. Its superiority can not be disputed. The mind can not turn away from it after recognizing its immediate and direct meaning. It is unable to express moral values without regard to vertical axis. After studying the physics of poetry and physics of ethics we believe that any courage is vertical.
Individual images are the effective way to define vertical orientation. The focus on individual expressions allows us to experience a unique tonal quality of the aerial hopes, hopes that are not disappointing us because they are not heavy. These hopes are associated with words of hope, words of the inner immediate future which let us discover new ideas, exciting and fresh, original ideas that are our new treasure.
Aerial imagination imagery evaporates or freezes quickly. We therefore always capture them between constantly active two poles.
The words 'wing' and 'cloud' provide evidence for the bi-polar quality within a single aerial image. They may be a mirror or an illusion, a drawing or a dream. They carry the ambivalence of grim reality or soft imaginary. They are metaphors before being analyzed as nouns and adjectives. But only for a short moment we capture their exact meaning for us. We trust these poetic images which are too non-physical, but do it willingly.
Aerial imagery impact the entire entity. After we got very high and far we certainly find ourselves in a state of open imagination. Images of freedom present a problem if their various stages are not tested one by one. Same difficulty exists with truths delivered in open and liberating air. In the Infinite Air dimensions are deleted and we come into contact with non-dimension material that gives us a sense of total internal purification. We are in a state of repose and movement at the same time.
After we arrived by air so far and high the mind is carried away out of control as by drug. Eager to try the upper air reality, the imagination will double any impression by adding any new available image to it. In its new different form, the mind express a resemblance between ambiguous contradictory images, which blur the colors of good and evil and violate the most stable laws governing the values of humanity. The end result of this yearning may be ambivalent moral significance.
There is, naturally, the journey down. Fall, even before moral metaphors intervene, is constant psychic reality. But the images of dynamic falling are few and poor, in contrast to the numerous images of ascension. Psychological downfall is simple, negative, short, scary, meaningless, isolated, nothing, emptiness. It has poetic and moral value only when it is connected to the positive dynamic verticality which is clear and rich in images and contributes to rising up.
Mental slope is constantly changing. If the slope increases, the person straightens up. Paths to greatness are created among us in this task. Everything in the mind is a path. Each path encourages us to soar.
Indeed things are growing. The way of energies, in imagination and reality, is to expand too much. Will is always a wish for power that does not exist at the present. Superman, who arrived by air so far and high, has no equal rivals. He is sentenced, without being able to go back, to existence full of pride in the legendary pantheon of heroes, even though he may never admit it, even to himself.
Folklore fits well with the images of flight. Great images hidden inside legends suddenly get wings, blooming with new meanings. Allegedly meaningless, they have psychological benefits after being analyzed.
The German tales became a catalyst in the development of German nationalism in the 19th century. German soul absorbed and implemented them as an ideology that attributes special qualities to this nation at the expense of ethics.
Airplanes at the beginning of the 20th century, the early era of aviation, were too appealing to be simply integrated into the hierarchy of human needs only.
In addition to the innovation of technological power tool, the airplane is very similar to a man spanning his arms and therefore it can be easily be personified. The plane is a ‘Medium Became Message’, like all the basic, primordial, iconic aerial metaphors which Bachelard described.
Aerial Consciousness is a term meaning the use of the general public interest regarding aviation to the purpose of creating a complete world view.
In the first half of the twentieth century various thinkers and ideologies combined the airplane with the Ascent Psychology, in several countries seeking a modern definition, leading to the establishment of a Dictatorship of the Air.
Aerial Consciousness shaped the political stage and life of Nazi dictatorship.
Holocaust and Aviation is personal and independent research
English version is summary of the full book which is available in Hebrew online.
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