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Strauch, Dora; Brockmann, Walter / Satan came to Eden

Chapter I: The end of one life,   pp. 1-17

Page 2

2                   Satan Came to Eden 
longer quite a child, but of an age when ideas acquire the impor- 
tance of actions, and take up the most part of one's thoughts. A 
kind of conviction grew in me that there was some task which I 
was born to fulfill, although I had no notion what it could be, and 
no real understanding of what a life-work meant. I only knew that 
it was something great, and in a way I cannot describe I was always 
looking for it. 
  The years went by, and life was no longer a time of calm or 
ardent meditation. I had begun my training as a teacher. The Rev- 
olution of 1918 broke out. It had no more passionate partisan than 
I, then in that stage of my own personal development when all the 
ills of the world seemed to be solved only by violent and radical 
outward measures. The proletarian movement revealed to me so 
many things of which I had not dreamed before, that I was plunged 
into an extreme of zeal for contributing in whichever way I could 
to the amelioration of the frightful distress among the German 
working-classes. This socialistic phase is one that almost every per- 
son goes through, and I, like many others, enrolled myself in the 
voluntary service of the poor and poorest with the religious enthu- 
siasm of my age. My experiences at that time certainly influenced 
me deeply, as an aspect of life was unfolded before my youthful 
eyes which left me gazing at it in helpless despair. 
  These things all turned my thoughts to the subject of the higher 
development of mankind, and realizing, in the face of what I had 
seen, that this can never come from the outside, I sought the way 
towards it from within. It was Nietzsche's Zarathustra that became 
my teacher and my guide. I set out to remake my life according 
to its precepts, and then began that struggle against evil instincts 
and passions, which I determined to wage victoriously, whatever 
the cost. 
   I finished my teachers' training course, and passed the examina- 
tion, but found no immediate appointment. Having to earn my liv- 
ing at something, however, I accepted the offer of a post in one 
of the large banks. 
   Although I completely realized that social work was not my 
vocation, my desire to help my fellows rather increased than 
diminished. I thought that in order to achieve this ideal I might 

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