There are two Germanys. Which one is the true Germany? It all depends on whom you ask.
The first Germany is strong and stable, united and satisfied. Josef Joffe recently described this Germany in the Wall Street Journal. Germany’s “bland and predictable campaign should be admired in the midst of a chaotic Continent,” he wrote, noting that once Chancellor Angela Merkel easily wins her fourth term, Germany will continue as a beacon of democratic health and economic success. Germany is content and comfortable, Joffe explained, “Ms. Merkel presides over 80 million happy subjects” (emphasis added throughout).
Then there’s the other Germany. Susanne Beyer described this Germany in Der Spiegel last week. “The elections are quiet, and overall the outlook for Germany does not look bad,” wrote Beyer. “However, this quietness is deceptive. The country is boiling under the surface. There is hatred against Merkel, especially in east Germany. There is hatred on the Internet for everything and everyone, especially the elites. There is hatred in the streets, especially for those of darker skin” (Trumpet translation).
Isn’t this interesting? These are not the views of a far-right journalist and a far-left journalist. Joffe is editor of Die Zeit, a center-left German paper, and Beyer is acting editor in chief of Der Spiegel, which is also center left. From the same spot on the political spectrum, Joffe looks at Germany and sees stability, optimism and hope, while Beyer sees instability, pessimism and hatred.
Whose view is accurate? Right now the consensus among mainstream journalists and politicians is with Joffe. But the facts and evidence, the reality on the ground, is with Beyer. Germany only appears tranquil and content. In reality, the nation is seething with frustration, uncertainty and fear. Germany is in quiet crisis.
And, if Angela Merkel is reelected, as many expect her to be, this crisis will only intensify.
Germany’s Conflicted Soul
The Trumpet has warned about Germany’s quiet crisis for at least two years. We have shown that, fundamentally, this crisis isn’t political or economic. At its core, this crisis is psychological. It’s unfolding in the minds and hearts of the German people. A growing number of Germans are experiencing an inner struggle. This is a struggle between who they aspire to be and who they actually are. It’s a struggle between how they want to feel—about Islam, about the migrants, about Germany’s traditional culture and heritage—and how they actually feel.
Postwar Germany prides itself on being multicultural, tolerant and liberal. Germany is widely considered to be the standard for what it means to be sophisticated and enlightened, morally, politically and socially. Twenty-first century Germany abhors war, defends the environment and human rights, and values international cooperation and collaboration. This is the type of person (and nation) many Germans aspire to.
But there’s a problem. The influx of more than 1 million Muslim migrants, together with Russia’s dramatic resurgence and Europe’s rolling financial problems, is arousing other feelings and aspirations. And these emotions don’t square with the desire to be tolerant and multicultural. Being tolerant feels good, until hundreds of thousands of foreigners enter your nation and expect you to foot the bill. Being multicultural is wonderful, until Muslims waving Islamic State flags and eyeing your teenage daughter settle in your village. Being anti-war feels righteous, until Russian tanks begin to roll westward.
Germany right now is a place where dreams are beginning to meet reality. Harsh realities are forcing more and more Germans to reconsider their postwar values and reconcile them with the more basic human urges. Tolerance is being replaced by prejudice, multiculturalism by patriotism, the community spirit with a greater determination for self-preservation and self-advancement.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this story is that Germany’s “elite” thinkers and leaders, the nation’s mainstream journalists and politicians, including Angela Merkel, do not publicly recognize Germany’s conflicted soul. They cannot see (or they are ignoring) the radical transformation underway, and they certainly are not thinking seriously about the disturbing ramifications it could have for Germany and Europe. This is truly alarming.
Because the transformation now occurring in the soul of the German people will culminate in the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire!
Rise of the Far Right
One of the strongest proofs that Germans are growing increasingly dissatisfied and fearful is the growing popularity of Germany’s far-right and far-left parties. The Alternative for Germany (AfD) is a far-right party that seemingly sprung from nowhere. The AfD was only founded in April 2013. Less than six months later, it won 4.7 percent of the vote in the federal election. By spring 2017, the AfD had representation in 13 of the 16 German state parliaments.
Analysts forecast that the AfD will win around 10 percent of the vote in the upcoming September 24 election. It is expected to take about 50 seats in the Bundestag, giving it dozens of politicians in Germany’s federal government. Some polls indicate that the AfD could actually place third, behind Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democrats.
This election could be a seminal moment in German politics. “If the predictions are correct, it would be the first time in 60 years that a party [the AfD] to the right of Merkel’s conservative Union bloc has attracted enough votes to enter the Bundestag,” reported the Associated Press. And the AfD has not even toned back its rhetoric in order to move closer to the mainstream and win more votes. It remains staunchly anti-migrant, anti-Islam, and anti-EU—and it’s getting the votes anyway.
According to Nico Siegel, the head of the Infratest dimap polling agency, more than half of AfD voters are voting for the party because they are dissatisfied with the mainstream parties. “The AfD is like a vacuum cleaner for those unsatisfied with the other parties,” he said. And it’s not just the AfD. Germany’s far-left party, Die Linke, is also picking up supporters.
It’s possible that support for the AfD could recede a little (as some voters make the tactical decision to support a party that actually stands a chance at ruling in the coalition), but this is not a reflection of renewed confidence in Angela Merkel or Martin Schulz. Whatever happens on September 24, the fact remains that the AfD is more popular than ever, and that there are now several regions in Germany where roughly 1 in 3 voters support an extreme political party.
It’s important to also note that almost 50 percent of German voters remain undecided. Some believe a good number of these voters support the AfD, even though they won’t admit that publicly. As William Cook wrote in the Spectator: “With all the other parties (and the mainstream media) united against them, it isn’t respectable to admit supporting AfD in polite society. [But] there may be a lot of shy AfD voters out there.”
It’s entirely possible that the AfD will shock pundits and perform even better than expected. It wouldn’t be the first electoral surprise we’ve seen over the past 12 months!
Polls and surveys show that a growing number of Germans want the migrant flow stopped or seriously curbed. One recent survey found that 54 percent of Germans believe that the country cannot handle more migrants. This is the first time that the majority of Germans have expressed this opinion. Two years ago, only 40 percent felt this way. The study, which was conducted by the Bertelsmann Foundation, concluded: “Many feel that the maximum limit has been reached.” Meanwhile, Angela Merkel refuses to put a cap on the number of migrants entering.
A study published last month by the R+V Info Center revealed that Islamist terrorism is now the top fear of Germans. The same survey revealed that many Germans are also deeply worried about the rise of extremist parties and the impact of the migrants. According to R+V Info Center analyst Brigitte Roemstedt, fear of a terrorist attack is now “at one of the highest levels that has ever been measured.”
Yet, despite Islamist terrorism being the number one concern of many Germans, Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz are barely talking about it ahead of the election!
Consider too the results of a recent study performed by the Rheingold Institute in Cologne, Germany. The study explored how the German people feel about the September 24 election (the “boring” election, as many have called it). “On a fundamental level, [German] voters are totally disappointed in this election campaign,” stated Stephan Grünewald, the chief psychologist at the Rheingold Institute. The German people “feel like the things that are important to them aren’t being discussed, and that many are being glossed over.”
The survey found that Germany’s mainstream leaders are almost totally ignoring the subject that the German people care most about. “In the in-depth interviews, all people wanted to talk about was the refugee crisis, refugee crisis, refugee crisis. Despite being so elegantly left out of the campaign, it is still a sore spot that hasn‘t been treated by politicians.”
On August 28, the Guardian‘s Mary Dejevsky suggested that Merkel’s decision to ignore these issues could seriously backfire, writing, “[W]ith 46 percent of voters said still to be making up their minds, concern about asylum, migration, integration and related issues is bubbling away mostly beneath the surface, and it is not certain that Angela Merkel’s personal ‘values agenda’ will necessarily win the day.”
Even if Merkel’s “values agenda” wins the day (September 24), it’s hard to imagine it prevailing in the coming weeks and months!
Grünewald made a similar point, explaining to Der Spiegel that the German public wants to see these issues being addressed and solved. The German people “want policymakers to develop a plan, to establish a compromise position,” he explained. “But they haven‘t, and now voters feel abandoned.”
The German public wants to talk about the refugees and about Islam and about how Germany can address the various threats. But Germany’s established leaders and even its mainstream challengers simply refuse to acknowledge the subject in any meaningful way. Some refuse to even admit mistakes have been made. During an interview with Welt am Sonntag last month, Chancellor Merkel reflected on the way she handled the 2015 refugee crisis and actually stated: “I’d make all the important decisions the same way again.”
Can you believe that? There is a lot to admire about Angela Merkel, but when it comes to the refugee issue, the chancellor is totally—and dangerously—out of touch with, or else simply ignoring, the German public. The consequences of such thinking are alarming. “Voters are disoriented, full of uncertainties,” warned Grünewald. “They describe Germany either as an ailing, rundown country or as a secure island of affluence in a sea of risk. It’s all very fragile and leads to emotional outbursts. I have never before seen so much anger and hatred among test subjects.”
In September 2016, following regional elections in which the AfD, Die Linke, and other marginal parties did extremely well, international relations expert George Friedman wrote: “In Berlin at least, the German political system has shattered.” The fragmenting of Berlin’s established political system revealed that it was “clear that something is being felt on the ground.”
Friedman warned that Germany was “moving toward a major political crisis that will resonate.”
Very little has meaningfully changed for the better since fall 2016. Germany’s mainstream leaders, including Chancellor Merkel and spd candidate Martin Schulz, have done nothing to address the issues disturbing a growing number of Germans. In fact, the issues have festered, and the German people are more anxious, more uncertain and more irritated. And a major political crisis is imminent!
Craving a Strongman
In November 2015, the Trumpet wrote, “Time will tell, but Merkel’s embrace of the migrants could be her undoing.” Over the past two years, Merkel has remained, but Germany’s soul has only grown more tormented. The basic urges of self-preservation and nationalism have intensified. Whether they get it in this election or not, the German people want a leader and political party willing and able to lead Germany (and even Europe) through this tumultuous period.
The region to watch in the weeks and months ahead is Bavaria. Situated in the southeastern part of Germany, bordering Austria and the Czech Republic, Bavaria is the soul of the nation. The region is conservative and staunchly Catholic, and it has a rich history with some of Europe’s most powerful empires and most dangerous regimes. “Bavaria has often been a center for new political experiments in Germany,” explained think tank Stratfor. “In times of deep social upheaval, this involved embracing extreme positions” (Oct. 18, 2015).
Bavaria, and specifically the city of Munich, was the breeding ground of National Socialism. The young Adolf Hitler was raised in Bavaria, and Munich was where he made his first attempt to seize power in 1923 in the Beer Hall Putsch. Munich “had a special place in the Nazi pantheon, and in 1935 Hitler declared it ‘the capital of the Nazi movement’” (ibid).
It is likely that Germany’s next leader will come from Bavaria. The primary political party in Bavaria is the Christian Social Union (csu). The csu is conservative and one of the largest mainstream political parties in German politics. It is also the sister party and historic ally of the Christian Democratic Union (cdu), Angela Merkel’s party. Together, the cdu and csu have been the most influential alliance in modern German politics.
The refugee crisis has introduced tension and instability into this alliance. The csu does not share Merkel’s views on the refugee issue; in fact, it staunchly opposes them. Bavaria is on the front lines of the migrant crisis. It has watched refugees pour into its cities and villages. The csu is more in tune with the German people than Angela Merkel and the Christian Democrats!
Although the majority of the German public disagrees with Merkel on the refugee issue, most Germans do not want to join Die Linke or Alternative for Germany. The German people want a mainstream political party that has the same views on the key issues, especially the refugees. The csu is positioned to be that party—to capitalize on any Merkel misstep, or perhaps a forced retirement or political collapse.
The man to watch inside the csu is Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. He is a native Bavarian and a disciple of German strongman Franz Josef Strauss. Before he moved to America in 2011, Guttenberg was Germany’s defense minister, the most popular politician in Germany, and the man many expected to become a future chancellor. Guttenberg has an aristocratic pedigree, movie-star looks and a charismatic personality. He communicates with force and vigor, but he is also a pragmatic, deep thinker. He understands Germany and Europe.
For the first time since a plagiarism scandal forced him from power more than six years ago, Guttenberg has been in Germany the past couple of weeks campaigning for the cdu/csu. When you listen to KT’s speeches, you can see that he understands the inner conflict gnawing at the German soul.
Even now there are rumors that, following the September 24 election, Guttenberg will move back to Berlin to take up a cabinet post within Germany’s new government. To learn more about Guttenberg and why the Trumpet believes he could be significant, watch this video or read this article by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry.
A New Germany Is Imminent
If you think Germany is strong now, just wait. Slowly but steadily, this identity crisis is causing Germans to accept that meekness, tolerance and passivity are ill advised and dangerous in a world that is increasingly unstable and violent. Germany right now is developing, certainly at a grassroots level, a new postwar identity.
The Trumpet and its predecessor the Plain Truth have been prophesying about the emergence of a strong, active, powerful Germany since 1944. We’ve based this forecast on many Bible prophecies. In Isaiah 10:5, for example, God says, “O Assyrian [Germany], the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.” This is a prophecy about God deploying Germany as a rod of correction to inflict terrific violence and pain on the nations of Israel.
Germany is also a protagonist in the end-time prophecy discussed in Ezekiel 23. This prophecy says that Britain, America and the Jewish state in the Middle East will align themselves with Germany, which will be the dominant world leader. Verses 9-12 read: “Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted. … She doted upon the Assyrians her neighbours, captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men.”
Again, this prophecy shows that Germany will be an impressive political and military power, an imperialist, mighty nation that subjugates large swathes of civilization!
Hosea 5 discusses a similar prophecy. This is another end-time prophecy about the nations of Israel, mainly Ephraim (Britain). But notice, God says that “when Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound” (verse 13). This is a prophecy about Britain looking to Germany for support. Why? Because Germany at this time is seen as the world’s leading nation!
There are other prophecies too, in Habakkuk 1, Daniel 7, 8 and 11, and Revelation 13 and 17, for example. These prophecies speak of the emergence in the end time of a German-led, Catholic-inspired European superstate. As hard as it is right now to imagine the EU behaving as an imperialistic superstate, this is exactly what the Bible prophesies!
And at the core of this European superstate is an extremely powerful, extremely assertive, extremely aggressive German nation!
Believe it or not, this Germany is forming even now. And if Angela Merkel is reelected, the inner struggle that many Germans are experiencing will intensify. More Merkel means more of the same. An election couldn’t compel Merkel to address the issues on the minds of her people, or show some repentance about the way she handled the migrant crisis. What is there to motivate Merkel after the election to make the changes that the German people seek? And unless some dramatic changes are made, Germany is only going to grow more unstable and uncertain, and the German people more anxious, more frustrated, and much more angry!
Eventually, the tension and anger will explode, initiating a course of events that will bring about the rise of a new, more powerful, more assertive, more terrifying Germany! Truth be told, Germany’s crisis won’t end if Angela Merkel is reelected—it will get worse. Much, much worse.