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When will Germany grow up? Angela Merkel's invincibility reflects the country's suspicion of democracy

What will happen when 'mother' leaves the German scene? Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

What will happen when 'mother' leaves the German scene? Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)


February 18, 2021   4 mins

Angela Merkel’s sixteen years in power have made her a dependable rock in the choppy seas of domestic and international politics — but they have also given her an air of indispensability. Millennials growing up in Germany do not remember a world without “Mutti Merkel”, and as her chancellorship draws to a close, the brave new world without her steady leadership appears daunting.

But Germans need not be nervous. This is a chance for Europe’s largest democracy to finally grow out of the nervous political infancy of its post-war decades and embrace a more confident future.

Fortunately, when Germans go to the polls in September, “more of the same” will not on the ballot paper. Even Armin Laschet, the newly elected leader of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) who is touted as a continuity candidate, has insisted that if his party gets re-elected, it will not stand for the “sixteen years of the past”. But there is a palpable nervousness in the air. Merkel is currently facing a barrage of difficulties which she can afford to kick into the long grass until her departure.

One such issue is the increasing scepticism among Germans about their country’s role within the EU. Like Helmut Kohl before her, Merkel has continued a policy of unconditional support for the European project. Indeed, it is rather fitting that the current president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will by far have been her longest-serving cabinet minister, with roles that spanned from 2005 to 2019.

However, a Spiegel survey published last week laid bare that her adoration for the EU is not universally shared: nearly two-thirds of Germans said that their opinion of the bloc had worsened due to its botched vaccine procurement plans. Half of all participants also said their view of von der Leyen had become “decidedly worse”. Merkel, on the other hand, defended the EU’s decisions as “fundamentally right”.

But while Merkel’s unchallenged position in Germany has allowed her to ignore the public mood, her successor will not have this luxury. For it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is an appetite for change, even among conservative voters who are likely to continue to support the chancellor’s party.

That is partly why Markus Söder, the leader of the CDU’s sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) who has publicly criticised the EU’s sluggish vaccine procurement, is already emerging as the most popular candidate to succeed her. A recent survey showed that 55% of Germans thought he was the best candidate for the CDU/CSU to put forward in the elections; only 27% favoured Laschet.

This election goes right to the heart of Germany and Europe’s relationship — and it is triggering a familiar type of political angst, one with deep roots in Germany’s unique historical past. For too long Germans have voted with a risk aversion that has given their chancellors an unhealthy sense of authority and invincibility. It speaks volumes that, at the end of four terms in power, Angela Merkel is still leading the polls as the most popular German politician. In fact, had she not stepped down herself, there is every chance that she would have been re-elected once again in September.

But while this may seem a sign of enviable consensus — so rare a commodity in an increasingly partisan Western world — the reality is far more complicated and disconcerting. Indeed, beneath the surface of outward stability stews an increasing sense of anger and disenfranchisement, which Merkel’s unchallenged position has allowed her to ignore.

The last federal elections of 2017 laid bare how thin the veneer of political consensus really is. The conservative Union of CDU/CSU came out with a loss of 8.6% while the right-wing Alternative fĂŒr Deutschland (AfD) gained almost the same amount. Having ruled out working with the latter, Merkel once again turned to a grand coalition with the social democrats (SPD), who had also made staggering losses.

But the 12.6% of the electorate who voted for the AfD are not the only Germans frustrated at the country’s political stagnation. For years, small-c conservatives in Germany have looked on with concern as Merkel pulled their political home, the CDU, further and further towards the centre — most notably with her decision to allow 1.1 million refugees into the country in 2015.

In her typically stoic style, Merkel tried to plaster over the deepening cracks within her party with her slogan, “Wir schaffen das!” — “we can do this!”. There was no need to have a national debate; it was as if her course for the country was an act of God.

This self-image of German chancellors as the ultimate moral and political authority is, of course, an unhealthy and increasingly dangerous relic of the past. Among Western democracies, Germany stands out in the way that its traumatic history has caused its people to value stability over charisma, continuity over change, dependability over showmanship.

Nobody embodies this more than Merkel, whose image as the austere and pragmatic mother of the nation has allowed her to rule without needing to fear the political consequences in a way that a British Prime minister would. A survey last year showed that 71% of CDU/CSU voters were against Merkel’s pro-refugee policies, yet her approval ratings remain paradoxically high.

Why are these German voters so generous? I suspect the answer lies in the fact that, from the beginning, West German democracy constantly felt under threat from extremism. In fact, in the first post-war chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, voters found an ideal candidate for the challenges the country faced. Unashamedly authoritarian, Der Alte (the old man), as he was affectionately known, led his CDU — under the slogan “No Experiments” — to victory in the 1957 election with the only absolute majority ever achieved in German parliamentary history.

But while a single-minded and reliable leader was arguably a necessary infringement on democracy in the wake of two world wars and the traumatic experience of fascism, Adenauer’s tenure also established an unhealthy detachment of the chancellor from his people. Chancellors can no longer afford to sit on a political pedestal, claiming moral exclusivity and dressing this up as steady leadership.

Yes, at the moment, a large part of the electorate is still willing to give an incumbent chancellor the benefit of the doubt. But this better-the-devil-you-know approach can only go so far. Forgotten and left-behind, increasing proportions of the population will turn to radical alternatives — the 2017 elections were proof that this process is well underway.

Whoever inherits the baton of German chancellorship this autumn needs to take this chance of a new beginning and build a more democratic, more transparent and more approachable office which works with the other elements in the constitution rather than above them. Chancellor democracy had its time and its place, but in 2021 it is an anachronistic relic of a bygone age — and anyone who seeks to hold onto it might pay a dear political price. It is time for Germany’s democracy to trust in itself without a father (or indeed a “Mutti”) figure to cling on to, for better or worse. It is time for German democracy to grow up.


Katja Hoyer is a German-British historian and writer. She is the author, most recently, of Beyond the Wall: East Germany, 1949-1990.

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Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago

I have no idea why there is all this fawning praise for Merkel. She has been a disaster in so many respects and frankly is a damn fool. It was Merkel and her stupidity that has basically ruined Southern Europe, reducing the people of Greece to perpetual poverty to save the German and French Banking System. And it was Merkel, more than anyone else, who lost Britain with her rigidity (not offering Cameron something he could sell) and her stupid policy of opening the gates. The woman is devious and dishonest and untrustworthy, as many have found. All she has managed to do is stay in office and destroy any potential rival/replacement. Her period in office will be seen to have been a huge disaster in many respects.

David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

And cosying up to Russia for Russian gas and now even the Sputnik vaccine

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

Yes. Merkel has been a total disaster but the MSM is too dim, or too compromised, to see it.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The MSM puff her up to be nasty to Trump in the same way they puff up Wee Nicola to be nasty to the PM.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Thumbs up.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

Merkel, rather like Obama, has been lionised by the press and (possibly as a result of that) retained popularity with voters. Yet their records of achievements whilst in office are remarkably poor.
Merkel represented solidity and European-ness. Obama represented Hope and the possibility of a new more open and internationalist America.
Neither will be judged so kindly by history, once their reputations are put alongside their policy achievements and the problems they gifted their respective countries and political successors.

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Yes well we all know why Obama is idolised and had he been given a coat of whitewash he wouldn’t get the same press. But he is another figure who is vastly overrated. His behaviour towards Trump shows him to be a man without principles and without honour. But now he is back, manipulating things behind the scenes with demented Joe and whats her name in the front office.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

Thumbs up.

Betty Fyffe
Betty Fyffe
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

“Merkel represented solidity and European-ness.” Only insofar as European-ness meant that Germany got as much benefit as possible. 

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Thumbs up.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

Merkel was also a disaster with her “Energie Wende”, not only abolishing totally reliable nuclear energy, but now getting the same energy from more expensive and unsafer nuclear plants from surrounding neighbours. To back up her Green Energy (Windmills and Solar Panels) , Germany had to open up old coal mines. This “successful policy” not only makes German energy the most expensive in Europe , but the CO2 output remained more or less the same.

Betty Fyffe
Betty Fyffe
3 years ago

Yes – so they are complete hypocrites. But far more sensible than our green-skinned government, opposition and other Soros/Gates puppets. Being responsible about pollution is one thing. Green is a completely different matter altogether.
Political Green = good (but only for the very few), but the planet won’t experience much difference overall.

Last edited 3 years ago by Betty Fyffe
George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Betty Fyffe

Don’t forget the Emissions Scandal in the US.
They just can’t do ‘Gas’ for some inexplicable reason, which is peculiar to say the least given their history with the stuff.

larry tate
larry tate
3 years ago

Totally reliable nuclear energy
Have you heard of Fukushima nuclear disaster Steph?
Have you anywhere to put the nuclear waste from your totally reliable nuclear plants?

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  larry tate

Fukushima survived a +8 earthquake until it’s decades obsolete, diesel powered cooling system flooded in the tsunami. Modern reactors have passive emergency cooling. Almost no structure can withstand an earthquake of that magnitude. Now you can bring up Chernobyl…or 3 Mile Island. The waste issue is not as critical as the rabid Green and NIMBY cranks make it through constant fear mongering and legalistic obstruction.

J StJohn
J StJohn
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Well how ‘critical’ is the waste issue, then? We’ve seen people die, get cancer and deformities from exposure to radioactive sources. Why don’t you tell us exactly how confident we can be that these things won’t happen to our descendants, 10’s, 100’s , even 1000’s of years down the line?

Richard Brown
Richard Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  J StJohn

I suppose nobody ever died as a result of burning fossil fuels, then. Hundreds die today, or a couple in a thousand years time. Which would you choose?

Olly Pyke
Olly Pyke
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Wandering a bit off topic here, but here goes… in my view nuclear power is irresponsible because the long term planning assumes that the inheritors of the the power station that is due for decommissioning and associated dangerous waste will live in a stable, wealthy society that is technologically capable of managing the task. It’s part of the mindset of ‘continuous growth’.
History doesn’t work like that. Sometimes society goes backwards. In 40 – 50 years time the country that is lumbered with this responsibility could be at war, poor, diseased, whatever.. and unable to safely deal with the liability.
It’s apparently ‘low carbon’, but it’s not green energy.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago

Thumbs up.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

She born in and brought up in the wretched DDR, no need to say more.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

There is just possibly a BIT more to say.
Her father, a Protestant pastor, chose to leave W Germany and live in the Communist and Stasi-controlled DDR.
This suggests to me a man who was self-importantly perverse (like the late Lord Longford).
And apples often fall not far from the tree.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

Thumbs up.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Thumbs up.-once more I have been ordered to slow down.

Betty Fyffe
Betty Fyffe
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

IMO it was not “stupidity” that Merkel exhibited in ruining S. Europe. It was the Deutschland uber Alles attitude that she has ingrained in her psyche. It was deliberate – either Greece goes down or German (and French) banks suffer. What do the Greeks matter?

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

She has also foisted her unsuitable choice on the EU Commission, because she wanted her out of the way for the succession.
It was a major mistake too to dispense with nuclear power and go over to open cast mining of dirty brown lignite, tearing up ancient forest to do so.

Last edited 3 years ago by rosie mackenzie
Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago

You forget that she was responsible for Juncker getting the job. Initially she led Cameron to believe she was opposed to the old sauce can getting the job, but soon stabbed him in the back. Cameron was right to insist that the Lisbon Treaty be followed and that the blatant power grab by the European Parliament be resisted. So the mess Juncker made can be directly laid at Merkel’s door.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

Morgenthau was right after all.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

Thumbs up.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

We swopped the Island of Heligoland (Gibraltar of the North Sea) for the worthless swamp of Zanzibar in 1890.
In chess terms a Rook for a Pawn.

We hoped for an alliance and got nothing! Be warned!

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

QGA in chess terms.

Last edited 3 years ago by Chris Wheatley
George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

It’s all the fault of Publius Quintilius Varus. If he hadn’t made such a disastrous blunder we wouldn’t be discussing this ‘problem’ today.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

Excellent article.
To me, Söder seems like the better candidate for Chancellor – despite his willingness to shoot his mouth off in any way he thinks will garner him support during the pandemic. Too many Germans see Laschet as the “man Merkel”, willing to carry on her drift to the centre.
What has come out in the pandemic especially (but probably fired up by the fact that Mutti’s long reign is coming to an end) is resentment about not being allowed to feel national pride. The postwar period until now has seen Germans feeling like self-negation is an obligation – pride in being German being somehow morally unacceptable. I understand that to some extent (for obvious reasons) but also thought it saddening. There’s plenty to be proud of if you’re German and the continuing guilt was a little overdone: stopping the country moving forward.
During the pandemic, I’ve also registered a clear frustration among Germans about their leaders’ angst about being seen to be pursuing a “Germany first” policy. This has arguably been so overwhelming that they’ve effectively ended up being “Germany last” – watching the world get the BionTech vaccine that their scientists produced months ahead of them while they continue to cough up for expensive lockdowns and even more expensive EU rescue funds. That is a bitter pill. There’s also a palpable frustration with the EU that I’ve never seen before. In particular, the bile is aimed at Ursula von der Leyen – you will search for a long time to find a German who says something good about her! She stands for a lack of competence which jars with the traditional German need to do things WELL. That she was put in such a high position despite her previous failures must feel like some kind of reflection of where and what the country is right now. Not in the place that many would wish.
That yearning to be German and proud of it and a whole range of other pent-up frustrations will surely come bubbling up in the elections. Merkel may have been tolerated but the time is surely here where many Germans speak up and say loud and clear at the ballot box that they no longer want huge decisions with a big impact on their society (like opening the borders in 2015 or constantly bailing out Southern Europe) to be taken over their heads. I think they will essentially be saying “right, we’ve done enough for you lot in Europe. Now it’s time to have a bit more of what WE want.” Absolutely understandable.

Last edited 3 years ago by Katharine Eyre
Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Understandable. But doesn’t their wealth come from selling their products tariff free in the EU market?

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
3 years ago

… and with an artificially low exchange rate … and without spending anything like the UK per capita on defence or overseas aid.

jongjengfong
jongjengfong
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Dawson

What makes you think the Euro (legal tender in Germany) exchange rate is artificially low? It’s freely traded in the market, like sterling, not fixed by some arbitrary measures.

William meadows
William meadows
3 years ago
Reply to  jongjengfong

Because it is the sum of its members, and the likes of Italy, Spain, etc, drop its value. If it was just Germany, the currency would be 20% higher.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

Among other things. The Germans would never ever leave the EU. And yet my impression is that the question is being asked more and more: is the price we are paying for this really worth it? Is this EU and our success in it really worth the sacrifice (monetary and in terms of identity) that we’re making?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

That might have been the source of (some of) their wealth in the past. However, the euro has rendered most of southern Europe unable to buy German cars and the French usually buy French cars. Which is why Merkel is bowing to China, which buys more VWs than any country except Germany.
To the extent – at least in recent years – that southern Europe has bought any Germany products it has been with money borrowed from….Germany. That is why the Bundesbank is owed two trillion euros under the infamous T2 racket uncovered by Hans Werner Sinn circa 2011.
Of course, none of this money will ever be repaid. Thus it will either be written off or – more likely in my view – the ECB will print two trillion euros and credit it to the Bundesbank.

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The Euro has effectively created ‘Greater Germany’ or the Fourth Reich to be crude. The Germans have a captured market for their expensive and often not so great manufactures, while the Greeks etc have been turned into a huge debt colony. Via the Euro the Germans are able to benefit from a vastly undervalued exchange rate to the Dollar, Yen, Sterling etc. However, if these countries use WTO rules and impose anti dumping duties the German unfair trade surplus will vanish overnight – they should all do this. As to the Euro the Germans have accumulated via the Target2 balances a surplus in excess of a trillion Euros. This is all an illusion and I doubt they will see a fraction of it. The Reich will fall apart like all the others have, but the trouble is it will all probably end in War, it always does. Let us hope the UK does not do what she has had to do for the last 300+ years – save the Europeans from themselves – but allows them to get on with it.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Söder would be another disaster. His popularity, especially in Bavaria, has recently suffered . Bavarians have had enough of his authoritarian Covid policies, inspite of his harsh lockdowns ( they vary in different LÀnder), Bavaria had suffered the highest Covid infections and deaths in Germany. A week ago he proclaimed, that he would support a coalition with the Green Party and yesterday, he said, that the Green Party would be a political disaster with their left wing policies, like trying to forbid building single homes.

David McKee
David McKee
3 years ago

Two excellent contributions: thank you, Ms. Hoyer and Ms. Eyre.
The term ‘turning point’ is much overused, but in this case it might just be appropriate. We are at the conjuncture of three events: Nordstream 2, the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement, and the pandemic. Whoever becomes Chancellor next autumn has to make a fundamental strategic choice.
Should Germany look east, to forge deepening relations with Russia and China, and become part of Mackinder’s dominant group on the World Island? Or should Germany look west, to the British and Americans and beyond, to make common cause with the seagoing nations of the world?
And then there is the ongoing debate about Vergangenheitsbewaeltigung. How does Germany come to terms with its past? As I type this, I am listening to Stephan Zacharias’ wonderful soundtrack to “Downfall,” as it helps me to understand how difficult, problematic and essential it is to live in peace with a complex past. It has been much on my mind lately, as some have used the momentum of Black Lives Matter to stir up discord about how we remember the British Empire. Profs. Priya Gopal and Kehinde Andrews spring to mind, as they recently compared the Empire unfavourably to Nazi Germany. Clearly, they are not yet over their student politics phase. Like Ms. Eyre, I am saddened by the way the Germans see national pride as something to be avoided. It is not, although national arrogance is unwelcome, in anyone.
National pride is essential, I’d say, if Germany is to play a full and constructive role in world politics. I hope that is reflected in the election campaign.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
3 years ago
Reply to  David McKee

Well said..

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  David McKee

I am saddened by the way the Germans see national pride as something to be avoided. . . National pride is essential, I’d say, if Germany is to play a full and constructive role in world politics.”
The problem is that other European Nations are very wary of Germany and for good reasons. Germany was forged on the anvil of War and caused two world wars within 25 years. The crimes of Germany (Germany not the Nazis) were such that in 1945 the very name of Germany should have been wiped from the face of the earth and the patchwork of small states restored. But here we are again in the 2020s with an emerging ‘German problem’. The European Union is becoming the new German Empire (or Fourth Reich to be crude) and it will fall apart like the others on the anvil of War. I hope I don’t live to see it and I hope the UK doesn’t do what it has for the last 300 years – save the Europeans from themselves. It has always proved to be a futile waste of blood and treasure.

Elise Davies
Elise Davies
3 years ago
Reply to  David McKee

Kehinde Andrews is a charlatan, a 3rd rate ‘academic’ , and ultimately a racist.
A man who can only view any situation via the prism of race.
Remove that option and he has nothing at all to say of any value. An utterly empty vessel who should be treated with the contempt he deserves.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  David McKee

Kehinde Andrews only gets prominence because we are in a moment of disconnect between a press and elite (meaning media/political pundits/political hangers on bloggers etc/politicians/entertainment industry etc) stuck in the past, and a lot of ordinary people who not only want to move on but frankly are moving on without them.

It is quite a bizarre moment really.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  David McKee

I suggets we use the terms self respect and confidence rather than pride. After pride comes the fall.
The EEC was fine. A united Germany was fine. The EU with the Euro was a treaty too far.
Trying to recreate the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne is absurd as it did not last beyond his lifetime.
We ignoring the human touch. One can get along with one’s neighbour without liking them, just a greeting may be enough. However if one is forced to socialise or even like them, a cordial relationship may become hostile. What is the difference with countries ?

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago

Why is there rarely any mention of Merkel’s East German roots? When and where one spends childhood and comes of age is always significant.

Paul Marks
Paul Marks
3 years ago

Chancellor Merkel has been a slow-motion-disaster – her popularity (such as it is) is due to the lack of any real dissenting media in Germany. Television, radio, newspapers, magazines are all from a narrow range of political opinions – with anything outside this being smeared as “Nazi”. Ironically this habit of branding anything out of the “centre” (really left) consensus as “Nazi” gives the real National Socialists (the actual Nazis) their opportunity as they can say “if you are against the decline of your nation, your people, you must stand with us”. A healthy nation (people) is not ashamed of patriotism (of self government) and does not confuse this with hating other peoples.

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

Good luck Germany as the parasitic EU takes over bit by bit untill suddenly you are just a colony.
When your own failed politicians are so bad that you promote them to the EUs top job rather than just getting rid of them completely shows that you are no longer masters of your own destiny.
Again good luck while you still exist

David Smy
David Smy
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

How would a country become a colony of itself?

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  David Smy

Ask Ireland.

Gordon Adam
Gordon Adam
3 years ago

While I would agree with most of the analysis of the state of democracy in Germany it does not take into consideration the German psyche.
The German likes to be led, guided and instructed. Individuality is not a German quality nor is free thought.
You just need to drive in Germany and experience the number of traffic lights. Roundabouts a both rare and feared because the driver has to think for himself.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
3 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Adam

There were more anti LockDown protests in Germany than in the U.K. Many Germans aren‘t the stereotype you write about…

Gordon Adam
Gordon Adam
3 years ago

The lockdown protesters also have a fuehrer. They are the first to follow their pied piper.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Adam

Fuhrer.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Mr Adam is correct. Adolf was the Fuehrer. Because the vowel is not ‘u’ but ‘u umlaut’ which changes the pronunciation. People using English keyboards write ‘ue’ to change the sound.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I agree but it just doesn’t look right!
However the day my I-pad gets an umlaut,I will know it’s time to go!

Last edited 3 years ago by George Lake
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Your I-pad is probably the 1949 version cunningly disguised as a lot of very heavy books. I only use my Samsung pad to pay the bills and to argue with you. Books for me.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Agreed, they have and will never have a substitute!

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Thumbs up.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Thumbs up.

Gordon Adam
Gordon Adam
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Check again , old chap.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Adam

My apologies, that dammed ‘umlaut’.

Betty Fyffe
Betty Fyffe
3 years ago

They also had the largest “welcome” posters to 3rd world immigrants.

Betty Fyffe
Betty Fyffe
3 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Adam

Like ants?

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Betty Fyffe

Rats wasn’t it?
“Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,
Brown rats, black rats, gray
rats, tawny rats,
Grave old plodders, gay young friskers”.

Chris Poulson
Chris Poulson
3 years ago

It’s difficult to take any country that calls its leader “Mummy” seriously but, there you have it. The Vaterland is obviously just too much these days.
Merkel has damaged the European project in pursuit of Germany First policies. Her preference for inaction might best be explained by the simple fact that her three decisive decisions have proved divisive and damaging. Doing nothing really is what she does best but it has wasted the legacy bequeathed her, and Germany, by former Chancellors.
The dividends of Germany’s post-war “wirtschafstwunder” are just about all played out. The EU without the UK looks a much rockier place. Time for Germany to forget its mother obsession and man-up.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Poulson

Well if indeed Germany does “man up”, it would behoove us to not be distracted…

Betty Fyffe
Betty Fyffe
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Poulson

If I remember correctly, a certain Russian Tsar was called “little father”.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
3 years ago

Well, I wish the Germans well. They invented modern philosophy, modern psychology, modern physics, modern chemistry, the automobile and the autobahn.
Oh, and Wagner invented movie music.
Pity the allies screwed them over in 1919, because it inspired them to invent modern nationalism.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago

The only thing wrong with the Allies’ behaviour in 1919 is that they failed to enforce the terms – most specifically the disarmament terms – of the Versailles Treaty.
Germany had long had an aggressive military itch, part and parcel of its culture of conformism, regimentation and BULLYING.*
It refused to accept that it had been wrong to cause WWI, and that it had been defeated in that conflict.
So the stage was set for a horrible rematch 20 years later.
Everything the Nazis did was prefigured in Wilhelmine Germany. –
Genocide? The conduct of the German authorities in their colony of SouthWest Africa (now Namibia).
Anti-semitism? – The difficulty Jews had in attaining professorial appointments in universities, and other professional hurdles.
Extremely provocative diplomatic adventures? – German foreign policy 1870-1914 – e.g. the Ems telegram; the Agadir Crisis.
Above all, the constant whining complaint that Germany was surrounded by powers that could make alliance against her – a grievance (when you think about it) that most nations on Earth could invent if they wished so to do.
This wholly factitious, but strategically useful, ploy was, like all genuine paranoia long enough persisted in, self-justifying and self-defeating.
The Germans provoked so much trouble for Russia, France, and the United Kingdom that eventually they DID have a ring-fence of hostile powers aligned against them (the Triple Entente).
It is a question, whether German psychology has indeed really changed during the 20th century. After all, in no less reckless a fashion, they have engaged since 1957 in making themselves sovereign over most other European countries by economic means; and since the creation of the single currency, have imposed their will ruthlessly on countries they ought not to have allowed into the eurozone.

*For an entirely German view in agreement with this, please watch the film of 2011, “Der ganz grosse Traum”, starring Daniel Bruehl.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

Most of what you say is all too true, but “It refused to accept that it had been wrong to cause WWI” is a bit over the top.

The bleating and behaviour of Czarist Russia, in particular its determination to protect its
“Little Serbian brothers “ was an idiotic provocation.

Fortunately Nemesis thought so to, allowing Kaiser ‘Bill’ a comfortable retirement in the Netherlands, whilst Tsar Nicholas was consigned to a brutal death in Ekaterinburg.

Last edited 3 years ago by George Lake
Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

“The bleating and behaviour of Czarist Russia, in particular its determination to protect its “Little Serbian brothers “ was an idiotic provocation.”
Hardly any provocation in history matches that which the witless aristocrats of Vienna flung at Serbia in July 1914.
Yes, a Serbian nationalist had murdered the heir to their throne: a grim crime and worthy to be very seriously avenged.
But the Austrian regime required of Serbia 24 concessions, each of which individually and in total amounted to complete humiliation and abject servitude for that country. These made even Treason May’s ‘Withdrawal Agreement’, with which she recently attempted to corral us into feudal satrapy under EU overlordship, look quite reasonable in comparison (and Martin Howe QC – then a Don’t Know as to EU membership – said, after studying that Agreement, ‘This is not a bad deal. It is atrocious.’)
Even so, the Serbs accepted 20 of those 24 demands; and jibbed only at the remainder.
The Austrians were determined to go to war with some country they supposed they could easily defeat; because they sorely needed to acquire fresh prestige in order to shore up their Empire which was crumbling under Czech, Hungarian and other nationalist demands.
The German authorities had overheated their economy and anyway yearned for a war of plunder, so they told the Austrians that come what might, they would back them.
The Allies (France, Russia, UK) FEARED Germany, a nation brought up in arms and conscription; yet Russia could not let her Balkan Slav allies down; and Britain had no choice but to respond to the German invasion of Belgium.
Henry James, the great novelist, heartbroken at the outbreak of hostilities (like most members of the Liberal governing Cabinet and the King and Queen in this country) went raging up and down Pall Mall denouncing ‘those two infamous autocrats’, the Austrian and German emperors, for their terrible fecklessness.
He was right then. He remains right now.
What never gets the press exposure that it ought to have is Germany’s perennial commitment in international affairs to the double standard.
When they had defeated France in 1871 (and kept Paris utterly starving for months), they demanded all of that country’s gold – 5 billion francs’ worth.
When in 1918 it was THEIR turn to be defeated in a war which they had caused, they made then and ever after a song and dance about how the Allies had, with incredible wickedness, blockaded and starved them into submission, and had then demanded reparations (which in the end were never paid anyway). On those counts Hitler repudiated the Versailles Treaty.
So you see, the rule is always as follows. Germany has the right to be utterly barbaric with other countries. Other countries ought to be ideally forgiving, charitable and humanitarian – under whatever provocation – with the Germans (they expected in 1919 the Allies to pay their war debts and fund the rebuilding of their industry).
If you have ever experienced a school bully, such an outlook will strike you as strangely familiar.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

I’m not to trying to exculpate Imperial Germany from its share of War Guilt but nor should we ignore Russia’s belligerent attitude. It takes “two to Tango”. Then there is France, seething with thoughts of revenge for 1870. For years she had been assiduously financing Russian military projects, railways across Poland in particular.
Leaving aside the other pygmies it was great pity that Herbert Asquith was too busy ‘perving’ over the voluptuous body of Venetia Stanley not realise that Grey was leading us over a precipice.

Incidentally concerning the assassination of the Archduke; Had say Prince Charles and Princess Dianna been assassinated by some IRA thug whilst on a State Visit to Belfast in say 1983, I would think most of the country, led by Mrs (Lady) T would have gone berserk. No doubt we would have made unacceptable demands on the Irish Republic, but unlike Austria- Hungary we would have been reined in by our master, the USA.
In 1914 there was no such Great Power to enforce discipline in the manner of Ancient Rome.

Last edited 3 years ago by George Lake
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Really, from most sources Austria-Hungary was the aggressor using the assassination as an excuse. The huge empire felt threatened by the shear power and might of Germany, which tended to do as it wanted. So it was a last throw for the weak Austro-Hungarian Empire to show that it was still there. As you say, France was quietly talking in the background trying to get back for 1870 and Britain felt itself losing its power in the world. So war just happened like when a storm comes to alleviate a heavy atmosphere. The problem, of course, was that nobody expected it to go on for 5 years.
Your Charles/Diane comparison only works with Ireland where Mrs T would have believed us to be stronger, It doesn’t work if they had been assassinated on a visit to, say, Russia.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

You are spot on about the Charles/Dianna analogy, and it concurs well with Peter Scotts’s reference to the school bully.

However let’s face it ‘1914’ was a bomb waiting to go off. Interestingly Bismarck had predicted the Balkans would probably be the flash point. The mutual hostility between Austria and Russia over who should have which choice slices of the decaying Ottoman Empire had been bubbling away for two centuries.
Considering it was some distance from the Balkans it was an asinine decision of the Russians to proclaim themselves the “protector“
of their ‘fellow’ (Orthodox) Balkan Slavs, (our little Slav brothers) particularly as Austria (later A-H)was the local power.
Needless to say this blanket Russian support encouraged revolting little Serbia, which had only recently emerged from Ottoman rule, to behave in a most irresponsible manner (The Black Hand), thus Sarajevo.
To illustrate the barbarism of Serbia, in 1911 their monarchy was violently overthrown. One of the revolutionaries desecrated the naked body of the Queen by slicing of a nipple and part of a breast. For years after, whilst ‘in government’ he carried it around in his attachĂ© case and would flourish it on ‘suitable’ occasions! What would “Yes Minister” have said about that!

If in 1914 Russia had not rushed to the rescue of horrid little Serbia, the Austro-Hungarians would have got away with a very nasty bit of bullying, but a major war would have just been averted……until the next crisis.

Incidentally I have noticed that unless I go into EDIT immediately I cannot type more than 2 words per line! However when you go to Save it’s back to two lines!
This system is terrible.

Last edited 3 years ago by George Lake
stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Re: This system is terrible.
Thumbs up.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Prussia/Germany provoked three major wars between 1870 and 1939, which is quite an achievement. In recent years, via the euro, it has waged war on the people of southern Europe, and it is waging a war against ethics in bowing to China in order to sell cars and machine tools. Some years ago Merkel decided to wage war on common sense by abandoning nuclear power and making the country dependant on Russia gas and super-expensive and intermittent ‘renewables’.
Ironically, given that its soldiers have to use broomsticks as guns in NATO exercise, the one type of war Germany would be unable to wage is the real kind. They would need the US for that.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fraser Bailey
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Germany is very successful. It has its own ethics which have to be more important to Germany than the thoughts of a few people on UnHerd. Germany will continue to be strong while the rest of Europe, including the UK, is having meetings about ethics. It is reported that many people in the UK are poor and I bet they would swap a good job for a handful of ethics.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Many people in Germany are poor and stuck in ‘mini-jobs’ or whatever they’re called. I know, I’ve lived there, and until Covid I would still go there for various projects.
Yes, my post exaggerates all of Germany’s excesses for effect. And yes, Germany will be strong in European terms. But Europe is weak and getting weaker, and Germany’s growth rates lag those of Japan, the US, South Korea etc.

jongjengfong
jongjengfong
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“Germany’s growth rates lag those of Japan…” Yeah right !

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  jongjengfong

Exactly.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  jongjengfong

Resentful Korean by any chance?

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I speak fluent German and have worked there off and on for many years. I have many criticisms of German people but they are just for me – why write personal criticisms as gross exaggerations of general German behaviour? (As it happens, my neighbours are German and they might agree with you.)
If you exclude the recent immigration surge, the German people are not poor compared to the British. Of course, south-east England is different. You can go to old Eastern places like Chemnitz and the atmosphere is a bit like the UK 30 years ago. The Ruhr is still relatively rich.
You should have a walk around areas like Burnley, Keighley, Bolton, the Rhondda, etc, if you want to see poor people.

Gordon Adam
Gordon Adam
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

You are quite correct. It’s the selective reporting of the living standards in Germany. Go down the back streets of any larger town and you’ll see a population density that you would be hard put to find in Britain.

Johnny Sutherland
Johnny Sutherland
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Possibly right but I’d guess they’d want to wap the handful of ethics for a government handout. What me work!

Betty Fyffe
Betty Fyffe
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Germany is successful because it was forgiven its War debts (the Marshall Plan, which practically bankrupted the UK long-term) and given loadsamoney by the USA to build itself up. Never mind that the USA was still wringing its own war debt from the UK until the late 20th century.
Somehow the Germans have forgotten that without these legs up they would not be as successful now. This is of course ignoring the very German-orientated euro, which has allowed it to sell its manufactured goods, which would have been unsellable if Germany still had the DMk.
Then of course Merkel tapped into the young Germans’ guilt over the WWII by inviting in millions of 3rd world “refugees”, most of which aren’t. And of course, Mutti then said that the whole of the EU had to take its share.
Sorry, we are not the ones with the War guilt, so why should we have to atone for yours, Germany?

Last edited 3 years ago by Betty Fyffe
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Betty Fyffe

Yours is the official view and is right to a point. However, you have missed out an important feature. We were conned by our politicians to join the EU because of the strength of the financial sector in the SE of England. This was right for the SE of England but wrong for the North and the West because we were too far away from the markets. So, our industries disappeared and Germany’s flourished. Today we have almost nothing and whole communities have been reduced to abject poverty and addiction to benefits. Germany’s industry still works well and it is true that they are closer to the Chinese.
So, which is right? Keep to some silly thought of ethics which only exists in your head or get away from the poverty?

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Betty Fyffe

Perhaps ‘we’ should have fully implemented the Morgenthau Plan and completely dismembered Germany in 1945?
Churchill’s infamous scientific advisor Lord Cherwell (aka the Prof) was also mad keen on the idea.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Sounds good to me.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yes-the “grown up” Germany made appearances in those years that you mention.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The fault of Germany‘s deteriorating armed forces lies with Merkel‘s friend and former Minister of Defence UvdL, who was more interested in a new design for pregnant female soldiers than procuring proper weapons. Now she can perform her ministerial “efficiency” as the head of the EU. You couldn’t make it up…

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Apparently Merkel and von der Leyen are now working on a vaccine against EU-scepticism. This jab will be mandatory, refusal to take ze jab is verboten!

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Working in Germany hasn’t helped you to respect Germans. We have the Chinese today. Presumably the French tomorrow.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

You must be thinking about Hollywood or maybe Ealing Studios.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Slightly unfair.:
1870, yes ‘Guilty as charged.
1914 :Czarist Russia equally culpable:
1939. Not so clear cut, the ‘blank cheque to Poland, what were the Soviet intentions?And who actually declared War on the 3rd September,1939?

Betty Fyffe
Betty Fyffe
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Who was Treaty-bound to intervene after Germany invaded Poland?

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Betty Fyffe

Publicly we and the French were to ANY violation of Poland.
Secretly this only applied to a German invasion.
So when the glorious Soviet Union invaded Poland two weeks after Hitler ‘we’ did precisely NOTHING.

Last edited 3 years ago by George Lake
stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Thumbs up.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Agreed. Good summary.

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

One could add that the 1870 war against France allowed Bismark to create a customs union in Germany.
Germany has managed to create another customs union (E.U.) to their benefit – this time without war. However the treatment of Greece and Italy would suggest that money is a good substitute for war.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago

Yet with all those advantages they still managed to ‘invent’
ZyclonB, Auschwitz and so forth.
That is the dichotomy that is modern Germany.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

And Bayer invented Heroin-the “non-addictive substitute for morphine”.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

IG Farben, what a company!

Betty Fyffe
Betty Fyffe
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Largely financed by Wall Street, USA.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Betty Fyffe

Which paid for those wonderful Paternoster Lifts no doubt.

Gordon Adam
Gordon Adam
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Indeed they did and they’re now under a preservation order and must be maintained.
Used to be Colin Powell’s office.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Adam

That’s excellent, thanks!

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Who invented Methadone, the non-addictive substitute for Heroin?

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I do not know, nor care. I brought up Bayer because it is an interesting fact.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago

Many of the inventors and their kin lived in special camps at one time…

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago

Don’t forget the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen, one of the most important inventions in history. As I said to the lady at the Bosch museum in Heidleberg (which celebrates the Bosch half of the Haber-Bosch partnership), it was an innovation which paradoxically enabled the production of huge amounts of both food and explosives.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago

Thanks to the (1919) Allies prohibition of any further development of long range artillery by Germany, due to the terror inspired by the ‘Paris Gun’, the Germans not unnaturally turned to Rocket Propulsion.

Hence the arrival of the US on the Moon in 1969. A mere 50 years, Flash to Bang.

Last edited 3 years ago by George Lake
David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

Ludendorf and his group of like-minded generals were planning a replay of WW1 in 1918, before the war had even finished.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

Way back when hunting and gathering were still more important than farming the Mutterrecht was a great set up. It allowed for the wisdom of women to temper the instincts of men and vice versa. In our evolution from those day’s we’ve lost that benefit. I doubt the modern day Roman Emporers – Putin, Biden, Zuckerberg etc are as afraid of Veleda/Waldona etc as the legions were. I expect history will see that as a mistake. Merkel is no Waldona, she’s a wieblicher clown. And Biden or Zuckerberg are no Legionnaires – imagine them having to fight the Germanic horde – not so sure about Putin – i expect he’d give as good as he gets.

Last edited 3 years ago by mike otter
Tom Jennings
Tom Jennings
3 years ago

Germany will grow up one February when natural gas negotiations with Russia reach an impasse and Vladimir does to Germany what he has done to others.

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
3 years ago

Putting the Merkel issue to one side for the moment, it seems to me, that from a German point of view, the system has worked very well. The Greeks may complain, other EU countries may grumble, but Germany is a politically stable country, the wealthiest country in Europe and one of the wealthiest in the world. It is the strongest country in the EU, what it says goes. If Germany doesn’t like an idea, it doesn’t happen. Frankly if I was German I’d be asking why we should change.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

There seems little doubt that Germany under Merkel has successfully convinced enough of the populations of other EU states that what’s good for it is good for them too, despite enduring evidence to contrary.

Merkel’s Germany has been running a hugely ruinous to its otherwise competitive EU neighbours trade surplus for many, many years, now running at a whopping 7% of its GDP.

This aided and abetted by its undeniably high quality exports being rendered infinitely more affordable to foreign markets thanks to the single currency. A currency whose value is constantly suppressed in no small part by the membership of its poorer, weaker members.

This unwillingness to ‘share more of the love’ amongst other EZ/EU members and insistence on continuing its beggar thy neighbours has been rightly criticized by Trump in the past as well as the arch-neoliberal IMF.

Last edited 3 years ago by G Harris
David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

A very good and interesting article. Germany appears afraid of its past but it may be the only country than can prevent the Eu from plunging Europe into war this century.

William Urwin
William Urwin
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Just as long as the UK are not dragged into any EU confict, then let the kids squabble.

Last edited 3 years ago by William Urwin
David Boulding
David Boulding
3 years ago
Reply to  William Urwin

Sadly that’s almost inevitable. Germany made the Balkan war far worse than it needed to be because it (and the EU) broke the post WWII accord that said borders in Europe were fixed in perpetuity. Recognising the breakaway states made all out war happen as they tried to grab land.
Who fixed the Balkan war? The US and UK (as usual). The EU talked.
The Ukraine war was encouraged by the EU blessing of the coup d’etat. Did anyone really think the Russians would give up their largest naval and only warm water base in Crimea?

Last edited 3 years ago by David Boulding
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  David Boulding

And how useful was the military might of the US and UK in Ukraine? As useful as a chocolate fireguard.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

It wasn’t worth a World War.
But perhaps you think differently?

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Thumbs up.

Betty Fyffe
Betty Fyffe
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Oooh be careful in writing chocolate fireguard. Someone like Naomi Campbell might take great offence…

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

The EU took the lead in *preparing the way* for Ukraine to join and that created a feedback loop in Ukraine that triggered Russia.

Nobody was ever going to march into Ukraine once the miltary action..and camouflaged military action in East Ukraine was a fact.

However the Baltic states are very keen to have British and US forces in their countries…it would be a whole different calculation for Putin to sanction killing US or British servicemen or women, so in that respect *Military might* is playing a part applied via NATO…the EU’s military might being as much good as a chocolate teapot.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Putin used the oil money to requip The Soviet forces and create a volunteer professional army. There was something like 50K of Soviet Forces with some of the most advanced tanks and anti aircraft missiles on the border.
What could have been done is to encourage Ukraine to follow Finland post 1945. Be democratic, capitalist and non-aligned.Ukraine owed the Russians $Billions in oil money and went back on a deal to lease Sevastapol for something like $50B.
If one is going to start a street fight with Putin make sure one is a better street fighter, which means there are no rules, only results.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  David Boulding

The EU in so much as it tries to have, and sometimes even boasts of having, a foreign policy has been useless at it. It’s commonplace to talk of UK and USA failures ad nauseum in the political discourse but the EU have messed up in the two examples you mention, and I would argue, with Turkey as well..where the relationship is now mainly Germany-Turkey and that is deeply dysfunctionaql these days…and in respect of NATO.

I would imagine if Britain and the USA pulled their presence from the Baltics it would be very worrying for the three states because I don’t think they, or Poland , have a lot of faith in the EU being able to deter Russian attempts at trying it on.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  William Urwin

Truly-as I cannot imagine self-absorbed “snowflakes” from the US hitting the beaches at Normandy.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

The USN is still made of the “right stuff”.

Gordon Adam
Gordon Adam
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Germany is not afraid of its past, it’s castrated by it.
As for Europe plunging into war, only a strong NATO can prevent that.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Adam

Germany was castrated by the past in the 30s, too.

Betty Fyffe
Betty Fyffe
3 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Adam

Its past is none too clean. Its present doesn’t convince me that the “Uber Alles” isn’t in their politicans’ sub- if not conscious mids.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Betty Fyffe

It’s in their anthem-they sing it!

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Betty Fyffe

If Publius Quintilius Varus hadn’t made such a hash of things we wouldn’t have this problem now.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Once the Coal and Steel Community was formed , war was prevented. Once one knows how much steel is being produced and where it is being sent, one cannot manufacture weapons in secret. No country in Europe is spending enough on weapons to produce offensive capability.
What could happen is prolonged poverty creating a peasants revolt, perhaps attacking shops and showrooms selling Germn products. How many weapons have been and can be bought from Eastern Europe or Middle East?

John Pade
John Pade
3 years ago

Germany has always stuck with a leader who delivered, whether it be Wilhelm II, Hitler, Kohl, or Merkel. Where the road was going was less important that the sights along the way. Stability ĂŒber alles. France changes presidents, and even republics, like underwear. Germany, more like autos or even residences. This difference is rooted in the histories of Middle Europe vs. the western and southern nations, if not indeed in the people that inhabit them.