Morehead's Musings: Karla, thank you for agreeing to participate in this interview, even if your husband, Irving Hexham, volunteered you! Can you share some of your background with us? Where did you grow up and what is your educational background?
Karla Poewe: I was born in Königsberg, East Prussia--a town that is now Russian and called Kaliningrad. Since we fled the bombing of 1944, I grew up in Saxony from which my clever mother fled with us to the British Zone in 1948. So I grew up in a town called Buxtehude near Hamburg until the beginning of 1955 when we immigrated to Canada. I have a B.A. (Honours) from the University of Toronto and my Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico.
Poewe: My book is deliberately not based on a thesis. It tells the story of the development of National Socialism with its roots in youth groups that were simultaneously religious and political in nature. It starts with the defeat of WWI and the bad peace of the Treaty of Versailles which created a sense of hopelessness and despair especially among the young and returned soldiers who then made it their goal to radically change society.
MM: Why is consideration of the rise of Nazism in Germany so long ago of great importance for our cultural and religious reflection today?