Friday, September 13, 2013

More to German history than Hitler

Or so say the moderately eurosceptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. It has been my contention for a very long time that as soon as Germans seriously start appreciating that point (and many do already) the end of the EU will be nigh. It is kept together by constant references to those twelve terrible years from 1933 to 1945 and studious avoidance of everything that happened before and after.

In a report in The Irish Times we read that AfD is trying broaden its policies beyond just being against the bail-out and talking about foreign policy, harking back to that undoubted genius, Count Otto von Bismarck.
“After the experiences of the Hitler years we Germans have a tendency to view the definition and pursuit of national interests as per se a bad thing,” said Mr Alexander Gauland, a founding AfD member, in Berlin.

“This view is shared neither by our friends and neighbours nor our co-players on the world stage.”

Mr Gauland said it was time for Germany to look further than Hitler into its past for a reappraisal of the European politics of Otto von Bismarck, the Iron chancellor who united Germany.

In particular he said Germans should show greater understanding for Russia, given Russia’s support for German interests over the centuries. Neither Germany nor Europe had an interest in a further weakening of “Russia and, with it, the entire Euro-Asian space”. “We Germans sometimes forget that Russia stood by Germany at important points in its history and defended Prussia from collapse,” he said, praising Russian support during the foundation of the German Reich in 1871 and German unification in 1990.
Actually, he is wrong about Russian support for German reunification in 1990 but moderately correct about the rest. However, what we should all be looking at is the natural Anglo-German alliance, which has a long history as well, going back beyond the German Reich.

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