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Thoughts of Heaven – Karl May / Herbert Windolf

January 6th, 2007

Many readers of Karl May are likely not aware that he also wrote quite a number of poems, most of which have been collected under the title Himmelsgedanken, Thoughts of Heaven. The majority of these poems are of an ethical-religious nature. It is peculiar that I, an agnostic leaning to the atheist side, became very much intrigued by May’s thoughts to, little by little, and finally in a major push decided to translate them in their totality, if not for their content, then for their historical value. It is my position to respect others’ belief or non-belief systems, as long as they conform to the quote at the end of this foreword. While I wish Karl May’s poems would have been more often of a ‘lighter’, less dark nature, his ethics, which suffuse all of his writings, are nothing to be critical about, and are ever so much attributable to the conditions of our times, a hundred years hence. In this context, may I cite an American writer, this one of Science Fiction, Robert Heinlein, whose quote I slightly modified: “… if you lived long enough, you could love all those who are decent and just.”

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