In the mighty fortress, Hohensalzburg, overlooking the beautiful Salzach River, a string orchestra plays the best Mozart music in the composer’s hometown.
They also do it best. Hohensalzburg, the Mozart compositions and the artists who perform them are all symbols of the true, the good and the beautiful – the old truths on which the West was built. Culture in the service of something greater.
The impressive fortress has been a stronghold against enemies for more than 1,000 years. On one of the tourist signs it says that Hohensalzburg has never been invaded.
It was almost impossible to find parking in Salzburg. It’s a rush. Everyone runs around, a map of Salzburg in hand, looking for places that remind of a civilization that was. The place is totally commercialized. The little shops are full of souvenirs, many of them from China.
The Salzburg Cathedral has stood there for more than 1,200 years. Nowadays it is a tourist attraction and one has to pay to enter it. The church became a spectacle and the imposing building and the fortress on the mountain charged the people without them realizing it.
In Amsterdam we see the grandeur of a golden age. We ride the city flat on bicycles. What an impressive ancient civilization! Fine, rounded, old and beautiful. There are fine flowers, beautiful architecture and bridges over canals.
Today we are the guests of Martin Bosma, a Dutch member of parliament and a great expert on the Afrikaner’s origin history from Amsterdam. “Everything comes from Amsterdam,” is the theme of his tour. We see where Jan van Riebeeck stayed, where the VOC decided to establish a refreshment post in the Cape, where the church was from which Huguenots were sent to the Cape, and we visit the orphanage from which a group of girls on a grueling voyage was sent to the Cape.
The beautiful is also part of the Afrikaner’s development history and it arrived here by ship together with the real and the good and set foot ashore in the Cape.
Martin Bosma shows where tens of thousands of people pres. Kruger waited in Amsterdam. We drive through the Transvaal neighborhood with street names of the Boer Generals. In Het Nationale Park De Hoge Veluwe stands a giant statue of General Christiaan de Wet. A description at the statue mentions that De Wet’s fight for freedom also made him a national hero in the Netherlands. The Netherlands was “Boergek,” explains Martin. The Dutch saw something of the pure Netherlands in the Boers.
We attend a type of Protestant church service in Leiden. There are not many people in the great cathedral. The Catholics and Protestants share the cathedral. The preacher’s sermon is full of anxiety. She talks about depression and Ukraine. A deacon hands out stickers about global warming. The Europeans struggle to understand the problem, do experience its consequences, but do not know what the answer is. In fact, their answers accelerate the problem.
The immigrants are becoming more visible. In the beautiful Gouda, there are already rows of small shops in the city center where immigrants do business. In Amsterdam there are more and more of them. During my previous visit to Europe, we drove street block after street block through Berlin without encountering a single German. In Paris it is even worse on the trains on which, apart from us, there were only black Muslims from North Africa.
Martin Bosma has a book with the prophetic title, Minority in own country, written In it he writes about South Africa, Afrikaners and the complex relationship between the Netherlands and South Africa. However, the title is also a prophecy about the Europe to come.
While we were in Europe, the resignation of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, dominated the news. The immigrant issue led to his downfall. Scenes of Paris burning were on every TV station. The old civilization is being burned down. It is not nice, good and clean. The immigrants then did not become Europe, but rather Europe then became more the immigrants’ Europe.
Europe’s castle no longer protects. The walls are falling. His defenses are broken and he is invaded. What has protected Europe for so long, he decided to tear down himself. God is dead.
After World War II, Europe became more allergic to identity. Europeans developed a fear of their own. The politician and writer, Thierry Baudet, calls it oiko(own)phobia (fear). The immigrants cannot be accused of the same fear. A faith vacuum has arisen in Europe and the aggressive religion tends to fill the vacuum.
Europe, and specifically Western Europe, has enormous problems. You can see it in the streets. An anxiety about it is developing among the Europeans, but they do not know how to deal with it.
I am sending an SMS from Europe to my friend, Fr. Ronald Bain. What are the fault lines of Protestantism that are now destroying European society? He replies that the fault line was not Protestantism, but the Enlightenment. Afrikaners largely escaped the Enlightenment because we were far away. We marched with the State Bible and hunted lions when Europe argued over reason and individualism.
The true, the good and the beautiful were part of what we inherited from the West. Along with this is the beautiful Protestant heritage of vocation, work and responsibility, which includes work ethics. This is still alive among Afrikaners.
Two European friends recently visited South Africa on two separate occasions – one a Flemish from Belgium and the other a Tyrolean from Austria. It caught the Fleming that we pray before we eat. He visited Sol-Tech, Akademia and Orania among others. On the way to the airport he says that he cannot believe that anyone of what we have can emigrate. He goes on to say that we have already discounted everything that lies ahead for Europe.
The Tyrolean says we will not be able to emigrate to Europe because we are too free. I was amazed. “I am no longer free, because I am no longer allowed to be,” he then explained. He may not have a cultural, religious identity or even a pronounced gender identity. The weeks-culture kills him. He was jealous of our identity and freedom.
Afrikaners’ Western heritage is a gift that offers everything to build a future here at the southern tip of Africa. It has the historical power to build a civilization. We must protect it because it protects us. For us, Europe is a warning of what can happen if the fortress walls fall.