Germany—Return of National Pride
It’s like the old adage, “Softly, softly, catchee monkey.” Germany has gradually emerged from its postwar cocoon as a “peaceful democracy” and, since reunification, has steadily begun demonstrating its old character traits.
But the pace is quickening in one crucial area: the influencing of German public opinion regarding its armed forces.
With the World War ii generation now rapidly dying out, Germany’s elites are currently stepping up their efforts to encourage the nation’s postwar offspring to show pride in not only Germany’s historical imperial past, but also the present and increasing role its military forces are playing in deployment around the world.
This effort to influence the German peoples to regain their national pride tracks back to their government under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder transferring its headquarters from Bonn to Berlin in April 1999, returning to its pre-war parliamentary base, the iconic Reichstag.
A great debate followed the reestablishment of Berlin as the governmental capital of Germany. It centered on the need for Germany to revive its national pride.
Writing for the Israeli journal Haaretz in 2001, Eliahu Salpeter observed: “There’s an historic debate underway in Germany over the concepts of ‘patriotism’ and ‘national pride.’ It’s impossible, of course, to separate the debate from Germany’s Nazi past. And the question, how many generations will the past chase after the present, is also connected in large part to the issue of how Germany overcomes the groups of neo-Nazis now operating on its soil.”
This journalist then went on to explore the debate on the subject of German pride.
“The main reason for the debate is that third-generation Germans don’t feel responsible, and certainly not guilty, about Hitler’s deeds. … But the real roots of the debate seem to be deeper, and easier: Most Germans are tired of hundreds of years of their history being reduced to the 12 years of Nazi rule, and especially the five years of Shoah” (ibid).
Simply put, a steady generational shift is taking place in the minds of 21st-century Germans. It is a reflection of their lack of emotional and moral attachment to Germany’s Nazi past in particular.
However, deeply concerning to the most objective watchers of Germany is a part of its history which lingers on to this very day. It is the rise of anti-Semitism witnessed by increasing attacks on Jews resident in the country. Though this certainly correlates with the rapid rise of Jewish immigration into Germany from the East that has followed reunification, of real concern is the question as to whether the increasing incidence of ant-Semite acts reflects general public opinion in Germany.
Even more than that, observing Germany’s history stretching back to the days of Otto the Great—crowned Holy Roman Emperor in a.d. 962—on through Kaiser Wilhelm’s reign to the rise of Adolf Hitler, the burning question that remains in the mind of astute observers of Germany is to what extent German society has rid itself of extreme nationalism and its close cousin—militarism.
The signs since 1990 are not encouraging. Most recent indicators show the opposite trend.
You can tell a lot about the mindset of a nation by the icons it reveres.
Following hard on the consolidation of Berlin as the national capital of Germany came the bringing out of storage and restoration for display of many of the statues of German military heroes dating back to its earliest imperial days. These expressions of overt German military aggression were taken down and banished from display in Berlin following World War ii. Now they dominate plazas, parks and official buildings, newly shining in all their buffed-up refurbishment.
Came the World Cup of 2006 hosted by Germany and for the first time since World War ii the German iconic anthem “Deutschland Uber Alles”—the theme being, even as the title suggests, Germany ruling “over all”—was heard ringing out from a public arena as it was lustily sung by the German crowd cramming the stands, rooting for their national team.
In the meantime, the Bundeswehr was quietly ramping up its presence as “peace keepers” outside Germany’s borders to the point that today German troops are engaged in 13 theaters outside of their home country, most outside of their home continent.
Then, recently, out of the blue, the German government released a postage stamp honoring the Bundeswehr’s expanding role in international missions.
German-Foreign-Policy.com reported, “Anti-military organizations turned energetically against a special stamp issued by the Federal Finance Ministry to support Bundeswehr war missions” (June 13; translation ours).
The report further observed, “The introduction of the stamp, with the advertising slogan ‘Bundeswehr: A Mission for Germany,’ goes back to activities of veteran associations that have direct access to the Federal Defense Ministry.”
During his tenure in the German Defense Ministry, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg was very conscious of the need to change public opinion to being more supportive of the German military forces, most particularly in the light of their increasing involvement in overseas peace monitoring missions. He oversaw the opening up of the Bundeswehr online television channel to public access in 2010. Bundeswehr tv gives regular updates on the German military forces in an upbeat format designed to capture both the attention and the sympathy of the German public as well as enhance the morale of the troops.
It is obvious that the military veterans associations have worked over the years to maintain a sense of honor for the German soldier. Annual ceremonies honoring the dead from both world wars have been religiously attended by generations of veterans of both wars, though their numbers have waned significantly in recent times as their generation steadily moves to the grave.
The impact of the military veterans’ view on the general perception of German history held by the public is being threatened with breakage by a generation gap. This has weighed heavily on veterans’ minds. Hence, they have been leading lights—albeit behind the scenes of the German government—in keeping the flame of historic German military prowess alive.
The issuance of the “Bundeswehr stamp” by the German government indicates that it is actively involved in a public relations campaign to lift the public’s view of German military involvement overseas into a more positive light.
Perhaps this would be looked upon favorably by the world had not Germany possessed such a consistent history of abusing its military power over such a long period of time, dating back to the days of Charlemagne.
But we must face the facts.
German nationalism and militarism have not generally rendered good to the world. In fact, the results have been quite to the contrary.
Announcing the rise of the seventh resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire, our editor in chief declared, “The Holy Roman Empire has risen six times in Europe. Each time, it has soaked the Continent in blood.”
On almost every occasion of its past resurrections, the German military was at the fore, securing imperial beachheads for the Holy Roman Empire and often forcing its colonial constituents to convert to Roman Catholicism, the official state religion of the Holy Roman Empire.
For a nation to celebrate and be rightfully proud of those positive achievements that emanate from its national character—those that have given uplifting benefits to society as a whole—would seem to be wholly right and well deserved. Yet, when a nation has a history of merging overt militarism with its expressions of nationalism, we had better watch out—particularly if that nation has a long history of such a phenomenon engendering warfare in support of a policy of imperialism, as has been the case with the German nation time and time again.
This is not German bashing.
It’s simple, unrevisionist, clearly documented history.
If, perhaps due to a disconnect between your personal view of history and reality, you don’t understand this, you need to study our booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire. It will give you the unvarnished facts of history in addition to the inerrant revealed prophecies that forecast Germany’s history and its ultimate outcome.
We do not hate Germans. We love all humankind. We especially admire the best achievements of Germany which have contributed positive benefits to humanity.
Yet we do face, and publish, the facts, as politically incorrect as that may be.
Germany has a habit of feeling its muscle when it is achieving well. Today Germany is the leading export powerhouse in the world. A not insignificant proportion of those exports are a result of the expansion of its armaments industry. Germany is the uncontested leader of a European Union of 28 nations. It has demonstrated significant political clout by being “able to design the key institutions of the EU and the eurozone in its own image” (Foreign Policy, May/June 2013), and thus to its own benefit.
Yet, as long as Germany is led by a cuddly mother figure, it will seek to project soft power, despite its muscle. But, if Chancellor Angela Merkel is replaced by a strong male figure at the September elections, we may well see Germany taking on a much more traditional role. A role for which its public is presently being carefully prepared through those who pull the public relations strings behind the scenes, engaged as they are in a steady effort to change the German public’s perception of its postwar “democratic” national character.
The prophesied outcome of this developing situation in Germany, and its impact on Europe and the rest of the world, is perhaps best left to our readers to study themselves. That may have greater impact on their sensibilities. A good place to start would be by reading our booklet Nahum—An End-Time Prophecy for Germany. Not only will it give the reader an understanding of the historic role Germany has played out in history over time, it will give the open-minded reader a vision of Germany’s increasing impact on world affairs today to the point of its prophesied, yet brief, coming dominance in global trade, politics and military power (Revelation 13, 17, 18).
Yet, that booklet also contains a great message of hope. It looks beyond the clouds of conflict currently building within a world in leaderless confusion, beyond the inevitable prophesied future global war, to a great time of peace and security for all mankind to which today’s events are but the curtain-raiser.
All men and women of good will need that hope. Thousands share it together at this very moment. You can join their ranks if you will just take God at His word and determine to conform to the way of life that releases your incredible, God-given human potential for full exploitation for the good of the world.
Just as they did over 2,800 years ago as recorded in the book of Jonah, the German peoples are destined to repent of their national sins and turn to God for guidance in the not-too-distant future.
Pray for that day, the day when not only Germany, but all peoples of all nations will be given the opportunity for repentance toward God, who, even as that process takes place, will join together in building a global empire of peace, plenty and security in this world that will eventually last forever!