TWO THOUSAND YEARS AGO A HERO LIVED, a charismatic man who changed the course of global history. Yet his name, Arminius, or Hermann, or Armin, is seldom heard. The Germanics probably called him Armin, but his name became Hermann in the centuries to follow (generally attributed to Martin Luther). The Romans knew him as Arminius, it being the habit of the Romans to add the suffix “ius” or “us” to names. Here is his story . . .
BY MERLIN MILLER
Arminius was a Germanic prince, who, with the greatest distinction, served the Roman empire. He commanded their first German auxiliary cavalry and achieved the status of Roman citizen and knight (eques). As a boy, Arminius and his younger brother, Flavus, were taken to Rome and indoctrinated and trained to promote the glory of the ever-expanding Roman empire, this also being a custom of the Romans to “borrow” the sons of “barbarian” chieftains for a time for just this purpose.
But upon return to his homeland in Germania, Arminius witnessed the tyranny and oppression of his own people at the hands of the Roman occupiers. The Germanic tribes were fiercely independent and racially Nordic and not accustomed to the imposition of unfair laws, physical abuses and taxes without their consent. Justice became as foreign as the new Roman governor, Varus—a privileged, yet lecherous and loathsome tyrant.
Varus was tasked by Augustus Caesar to bring Germania to her knees—in unquestioning servitude to Rome. As a tribal noble and commander of all of the auxiliary forces in Germania, Arminius was assigned to assist the languorous, yet power-consumed governor. Arminius knew the ways of both the Romans and the Germans and became an invaluable advisor—but one torn by his sworn loyalty to Rome and his natural loyalty to his land and kinfolk, with their sense of fair play and justice.
Arminius also met and fell in love with a beautiful German princess, Thusnelda. Their love story is one of the greatest and most unbelievable in history, yet true. Thusnelda’s father, Segestes, an ambitious noble who saw the benefits of serving Rome, condemned the union and became a bitter foe to Arminius. But the young lovers defied him and eloped—setting off a string of events that changed the face of the continent.
Many of the German nobles benefited by their allegiance to Rome, but the people suffered and Arminius and his bride became acutely aware. Unlike any other, he determined to free his people from the evils of Rome, although it meant risking everything—title, wealth and family. He secretly began to organize the ever-quarrelsome tribes and planned to rid their lands of the invaders. This was an impossible task, as Rome, at the peak of her empire’s power, had several invincible legions—10,000 to 12,000 battle-hardened and well-equipped soldiers plus their many attendants—stationed in Germania. Also, the Germans were often pitted against each other, and many could not be trusted. In fact, Segestes would betray Arminius to Varus at a final banquet, exposing Arminius’ revolutionary plans, before the Romans were to leave their summer encampment for their winter Rhine forts. But the Roman governor was so impressed by Arminius and the perceived ridiculousness of the allegation, that he did not believe the charges.
Arminius had the wits and charm to turn this betrayal into a seemingly ongoing family squabble of Segestes’ resentment for the loss of his daughter. Subsequently, during the trek, and with stunning surprise, Arminius did lead the unimaginable attack on Rome’s three best legions, totally destroying them and capturing their fallen “eagles,” in the year A.D. 9, exactly 2,000 years ago. In fact, the major fight took place on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year 9, a strangely symbolic date—9-9-9.
This defeat, regarded by authorities as one of the 10 most important battles in man’s long history, was partially enabled by Arminius’s skill at deception—learned from the Romans. But most important was Arminius’s courageous leadership ability, his keen understanding of Roman tactics and his unique familiarity with the terrain and weather—all enemies to the disciplined, yet unsuspecting Roman soldiers with their traditional formations and predictable maneuvers. The gods also favored a Germanic onslaught by bringing down a torrent of cold rain, which further demoralized the weary and confused Romans.
Arminius’s success brought peace and self-rule to his people for a time, but it was to be short lived. The Romans would return, under Tiberius Caesar’s rule, to attempt a punitive re-conquest of Germania. Arminius again rose to the occasion and led the Germanic resistance—even fighting against his own brother, who remained loyal to Rome. Flavus was more impressionable when he was sent to Rome and its grandeur and debauchery had greater effect on his dogmatic character. Their dramatic confrontation across the Weser River is one for the ages, as Arminius publicly chastised his brother as a traitor to his Volk.
Arminius’s victories and Rome’s costly campaigns for reoccupation, under General Germanicus, ultimately led to Rome’s abandonment of the conquest again, this time leaving for good. But during the most difficult times, Segestes betrayed his own daughter—allowing Germanicus to take her without a fight and aiding the Romans in her capture. She was pregnant with Arminius’s son, and they were never again to be reunited. But her noble bearing, and unwavering loyalty to her husband, were held
in the highest regard by the Romans, even as she and her son were paraded before the rabble of Rome in a triumphal parade.
Arminius’s story is one of love and of noble sacrifice for the most honorable of causes—the freedom of his people. He spent years trying to further unify the tribes and establish a form of nationhood, which might have enabled the return of his wife and son, but he was undermined by power-hungry rivals. Ironically, it was Roman historians who recorded the deeds of Arminius, and their writings reflect the greatest respect for their most capable and enterprising enemy—the man who utterly defeated them on more than one occasion.
Like a Greek tragedy, Arminius was eventually murdered and Germany’s unification would need to wait for many centuries. In Germany today, Arminius should be regarded as their greatest hero—an ancient-era George Washington. It was a direct result of Arminius’s defiance to the tyrannies of empire that ensured the northern half of Europe would not become Romanized, but rather Anglo-Saxonized—the impact of which would resonate throughout the world and throughout history, to the present day. However among German youth, he is virtually an unknown quantity—lost in the political correctness of an insidiously expanding modern-day globalist empire—a New World Order, which increasingly undermines traditional heroes and nationalism, not only in Germany, but throughout European derived Western Civilizations.
CELEBRATING HIS MEMORY
My wife and I traveled to Germany in the summer of 2008 and visited the Hermannsdenkmal (Arminius Monument). It is a most impressive sculpture, completed in 1875, which rises above Teutoburg Forest near Detmold, Germany. Surprisingly, there were hardly any tourists, German or otherwise. It was as though he had been abandoned, waiting for the reawakening of his people. The museum in Detmold only had a small section dedicated to Arminius.
We also visited the battle site, near Kalkriese—which was discovered in 1987 through the efforts of an amateur British archeologist, who found numerous Roman coins, battle implements and other remains. A large visitor center and unseemly museum has been built, but they look as if they were designed to deter tourists, instead of welcome them.
This year, 2009, is the bimillenial German celebration of the “Varus-Schlacht” (Varus battle) fought 2,000 years ago nearly to the day. From May to October, many events are planned for all ages. Even Chancellor Angela Merkel attended the opening ceremonies in May. The Hermannsdenkmal has not seen such large numbers of visitors for decades.
During the summer, as many as 20,000 visitors came on one weekend. Many other Europeans took part in the festivities. The Hermmansdenkmal has found its day in the sun in spite of video games, i-pods, Facebook and other useless diversions.
Three museum exhibits explaining Hermann’s battle to defeat the Romans will educate and inspire the public and reinforce the importance of the victory to Germans and all peoples of European descent. Even schoolchildren are learning about this great culture hero. It seems, despite unrelenting attempts to suppress it, the German spirit is reborn.
THE NEW ROME
In America, as in ancient Rome, we have been transitioning from a Republic to an Empire—and it is also destroying us. Like the Roman army, our military is spread very thin, trying to maintain forces in over 130 countries. We are fighting unjust and undeclared wars, and the cost in human life, ill will and financial indebtedness cannot be forever maintained.
Like the Roman Senate, our Congress also serves special interests rather than the interests of our people—creating an atmosphere of injustice and imbalance. Unconstitutional laws are being enacted daily, which further restrict our individual rights and pit various entities against each other by granting favored status to select groups.
Government has grown well beyond our Constitutional guidelines and a surreptitious police state is developing. Our currency is collapsing under the weight of the Federal Reserve’s unethical and unconstitutional interest charges and our government has gone on a socialist spending spree—with a philosophy of spreading the wealth and destroying any sense of personal or governmental responsibility. We are outsourcing our productivity through unfair trade agreements and the middle class is disappearing. Times as challenging as those faced by Arminius loom
fatefully ahead for an unsuspecting America.
Like ancient Rome, we have become a multicultural, multiracial nation of immigrant servants and dependent wards— many of whom do not wish to assimilate with our traditional national identity. America’s “empire,” controlled by a select and self-ordained few, appears to be forcing the furtherance of a New World Order, which will totally destroy all national sovereignties and lead to a borderless, globalist “Third World” where the masses are governed by a parasitic ruling elite—Rome revisited.
Bizarre, to be sure—but throughout history, the quest for wealth and power has led ruthless men to conspire for their own gain. The result has usually been wars and famine, profiting a few and destroying the many. And today, the potential for a global armageddon is greater than ever.
Over the last one hundred years, the most effective enabler for empire builders has been the media. In all forms—motion pictures, television, radio and print—the public has been fed an increasing diet of false or superficial news and increasingly decadent entertainment. In Roman times, the masses were similarly entertained with violent and debasing diversions including life-and-death spectacles of all sorts at the local coliseum. When you can control the minds of the masses, you can convince them that any falsehood is true and any truth is false. You can also excite them to action—through manipulative intrigues.
The most effective forms of propaganda are usually cloaked in entertainment and through a steady process of indoctrination, we adopt beliefs and attitudes that are often contrary to our own best interests and nature. If we ask why the family unit is failing, faith is disappearing, ethnic identity is shunned and nationalism is scorned, the answer lies with the overwhelming effects of a mainstream media that is totally owned and controlled by a small, but cohesive group—dedicated to our destruction.
Hollywood has a definite agenda, which serves internationalists’ designs and is determined to undermine traditional American values and all that we hold dear—including; family, faith, ethnic identity and national sovereignty.
WHERE ARE OUR HEROES?
Where are our heroes today? Why do we only worship antiheroes, who promote decadence and despair? Why do our youth know so much more about Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith and Madonna than real heroes? The answer most definitely lies with this controlled media—a great weapon—greater in power than all the legions of Rome. Our people need positive role models again. We need heroes—brave and honorable—who are willing to fight for truth, justice and liberty. We must be willing to sacrifice, as Arminius did, for the preservation of freedom and an honorable way of life.
Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, MERLIN MILLER graduated from West Point. He served several years in the U.S. Army, where he commanded two units and then worked as an industrial engineering manager for Michelin Tire Co. In 1983, he was accepted into the University of Southern California’s “Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing Program,” graduating in 1985 with an MFA degree in cinema and television. He has since been an independent screenwriter, motion picture producer/director and media instructor. His films include A Place to Grow, starring Gary Morris and Wilford Brimley, andJericho, starring Mark Valley, Leon Coffee and R. Lee Ermey. Mr. Miller is now building Americana Pictures, a motion picture production and distribution company, as a quality alternative to Hollywood. The company is developing several feature-length screenplays by working with talent outside the mechanisms of Hollywood. The Liberator will be the company’s first motion picture. If interested in learning more, visit Americana-Pictures.com.
PLEASE NOTE: A big celebration of the victory of Arminius at the New Ulm, Minnesota, monument in early September. See more at www.hermannmonument.com. Also pick up ourSeptember/October issue of TBR with several great articles on Arminus!