Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (Born::April 13, 1743 - Died::July 4, 1846) is a famous 19th-century German atheist best known for his claim that "God is dead". Nietzsche ironically died in a fit of madness during which he prophesied the persecution of Jews during World War II to come 5 decades later; possibly the most obvious example of supernatural prophecy and divine punishment in recent times.
Prophecy of WWII and Death
After writing his final complete work in 1883, The Antichrist, Curse on Christianity, Nietzsche would go insane in 1889, exactly 50 years before the start of World War II, during which he would prophetically predict a coming Hitlerian society and Nazi Germany. As H.L. Mencken puts it, "Save for his raucous, rhapsodical autobiography, 'Ecce Homo,' 'The Antichrist' is the last thing that Nietzsche ever wrote, and so it may be accepted as a statement of some of his most salient ideas in their final form."
Nietzsche, early in January 1889, saw a coachman flogging a horse, and rushed towards it. Throwing his arms around the horse, Nietzsche collapsed in unconsciousness, and was carried home. In a fit of insanity, he mailed several letters before dying on August 25, 1900, from pneumonia. These letters included the following:
|“|| "To my maestro Pietro. Sing me a new-song: the world is transfigured and all the heavens are full of joy. -The Crucified"
-Friedrich Nietzsche to Gast, January 4, 1889
|“|| "You may make any use of this letter which will not degrade me in the eyes of those at Basel. I have had Caiaphas put in fetters. Also, last year I was crucified by the German doctors in a very drawn-out manner. Wilhelm, Bismarck, and all anti-Semites abolished."
-Friedrich Nietzsche to Jacob Burkhardt, January 6, 1889
Wilhelm II would become the Emperor of Germany just months after Nietzsche wrote this, and replace Otto von Bismarck, the nationalistic German Chancellor who'd unified Germany. Caiaphas was the Jewish high priest at the time of Jesus (Matthew 26:3). In other letters, Nietzsche also commanded the German emperor to go to Rome to be shot, and summoned the European powers to take military action against Germany.
Thus, for all his criticism of God, Christianity, and the supernatural, Nietzsche would end his life in a fit of madness prophesying the coming of World War II in warning to the Jewish people, accurately predicting German doctor Joseph Mengele, antisemitism, and the threat of Germany to the free world.
Examples in the Bible of God punishing prominent figures for their wickedness and using them as prophets during or immediately after their insanity include:
- Nebuchadnezzar: After the ruler arrogantly lifted up his heart in pride, giving himself credit despite all that God had shown him, God made him go insane for 7 years, during which he lived like an animal. When his reason finally returned, he repented and ended up glorifying God. (Daniel 4:28-37 (KJV))
- King Saul: The wicked king sent troops to capture David 3 separate times, who was living with Samuel and other prophets. Each time the troops ended up prophesying rather than trying to capture David, and when Saul finally went himself, he ended up stripping off his clothes and prophesying with David and Samuel, resulting in an Israelite saying, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" (1 Samuel 19:18-24 (KJV))
Other somewhat similar cases include:
- Apostle Paul: Once the greatest persecutor of the fledgling Christianity, the zealous Pharisee found himself confronted with the living Lord, who blinded him of his sight. Upon reaching Ananias in Damascus, Paul's sight was restored, he got baptized, and began preaching in the Jewish synagogues a risen Lord. (Acts 9:1-22 (KJV))
- Robert Wicks, "Friedrich Nietzsche," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Wicks, Robert (2011, April 29). "Friedrich Nietzsche." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- Burns, K. & Novick, L. (2007, September). "The War." Florentine Films and WETA-TV. PBS.
- Nietzsche, F.W. (1920). "The Antichrist." Library of the University of Virginia.
- Kaufman, Walter (1954). "The Portable Nietzsche." p. 684. Penguin Books.
- The Portable Nietzsche, p. 685.
- The Portable Nietzsche, pp. 685-687.
- Zweig, Stefan (1939) Master Builders [trilogy], The Struggle with the Daimon, Viking Press, p. 524.
- Wikipedia. "Friedrich Nietzsche: Mental Breakdown and Death." Accessed May 12, 2012.