Germany Moves South


Germany Moves South

While domestic politics has Germany distracted at home, Germany’s growing influence in Africa gains little publicity.

Germany is unhappy. The whole nation is unhappy at having lost their prospect of winning the soccer World Cup on their home turf. They came so close, but in the end, all the raucous chanting of “Deutschland uber Alles” from the stands could not rally their team to overcome defeat by Italy, which went on to win the Cup.

Neither is the German government happy right now. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s early attempts at cobbling together a consensus on certain domestic issues have split her coalition government’s votes along party lines on matters crucial to the country’s future economic stability.

The German electorate is not happy either. Merkel’s attempts at reforming the nation’s moribund national health-care scheme met with an overwhelming rejection by the German public, according to early polls. This follows the great public outcry over the Merkel government’s proposal, some weeks earlier, to impose the largest tax hike on the German nation since World War ii.

The honeymoon is over. Things aren’t working too well on the home front for Chancellor Merkel’s grand coalition government. Germany may, once again, be moving into crisis mode within less than one year of Angela Merkel gaining the chancellorship by the slimmest of margins.

But away from the home turf, it is a different story. Overseas, Germany is moving ahead, gung-ho, on its grand process of re-colonization of parts once ruled by Deutschland in a previous era when the nation was cloaked in a more overtly imperialistic garb.

Back in the old colonial days, following the unification of Germany, Prince Otto von Bismarck quickly entered the scramble for Africa that took place in the 1800s. He succeeded in gaining German sovereignty over quite a tract of the continent. Maps showing German colonial possessions in the 19th and early 20th centuries reveal that Germany, after Britain and France, was the third-largest colonial power in Africa. At the peak of its imperial extension, Germany had acquired an empire spanning over 2.6 million square kilometers in area, incorporating southwest Africa (Namibia), Togoland, the Cameroons and Tanganyika.

But German aggression in two world wars put paid to its short-lived African empire.

Fast forward to the late-20th century. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, no sooner had Germany once again united than it successfully maneuvered to have an American- and British-led nato force mount an illegal war in the Balkan Peninsula. This consummated in the destruction of greater Yugoslavia as a political entity, clearing the way for the European Union to impose its rule over the crossroads of Europe, a most strategic piece of territory. The scene was then set for the expansion of German influence, under the EU umbrella, to extend southward.

Having thus sewn up the Balkan Peninsula, which is—in moves largely ignored by the press and media—quickly becoming a vassal territory of a German-dominated EU, Germany is now increasingly turning its attention toward the great continent of Africa.

So it is that today we find the German Navy patrolling the Mediterranean and the waters off the Horn of Africa, the German military involved in a mock invasion off Africa’s west coast, on the ground in the Congo guarding German mining interests there, and preparing for involvement in the Darfur conflict in Sudan.

Add all this German military involvement in Africa to the continuing German troop presence in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia and off the coast of Australia in East Timor, not to mention the Luftwaffe flying security missions for the United States covering America’s East Coast!

All that increasing global involvement is quite a leap for a united Germany that had its first post-war non-combat overseas military mission only 12 years ago: when the Bundeswehr helped in the UN-mandated Somaliland mission in 1994 (its first combat mission took place about a year later in Croatia). The Luftwaffe’s first post-World War ii combat missions were launched a few years later, with the German Air Force engaged in bombing Serbian targets in the German-stimulated Balkan wars.

Perhaps if these widespread missions of the German defense forces were billed in the media as German initiatives, it might stir some unpleasant memories of previous combat undertaken by Germany some 60 years ago. However, the Germans have been very clever to ensure being enlisted as much-appreciated support to both UN and nato missions. This bit of PR places a nice gloss on what may emerge as hidden German motives. Step back and view the whole picture, and we see a Germany in a stunningly expansionary mood, particularly in Africa.

Of particular note is Germany’s renewed interest in the southwestern African nation of Namibia. Previously colonized by Germany in the great scramble for the rich resources of Africa that took place in the 1800s, Germany’s freshly overt interest in Namibia centers on access to its rich deposits of copper and chrome ore, and, very strategically, on the control of the deep-water port of Walvis Bay. Just as the Balkans are the literal crossroads of Europe, Walvis Bay has “developed into the commercial turnstile for all of Southern Africa” (German Foreign Policy, July 3). Walvis Bay offers a faster turnaround for European/African shipping than routing via the Cape to South Africa’s ports. It is the preferred African port of call for German shipping companies.

Increasing German interest in Africa is beginning to highlight the prospect of confrontation between Germany and China, in particular in Nigeria, Angola and Sudan. At issue is access to exploitable oil reserves and Africa’s vast mineral wealth. Watch for tensions to rise between China and a German-led EU on these issues.

But there is another issue that raises concern in southwest Africa. Some in Namibia still grumble about the way Imperial Germany treated an earlier generation during their colonial days. This piece of history was publicized as recently as 1985 in a UN report on Imperial Germany’s treatment of the peoples within its colony in southwest Africa. Termed the Whitaker Report, this was a summary of a UN investigation that proved Germany was responsible for one of the earliest acts of genocide in the 20th century. It was perpetrated in Africa. To quote details of the specific event as noted in part one of that report, “General von Trotha issued an extermination order; water-holes were poisoned and the African peace emissaries were shot. In all, three quarters of the Herero Africans were killed by the Germans then colonizing present-day Namibia, and the Hereros were reduced from 80,000 to some 15,000 starving refugees.”

The question being raised in southwest Africa is, if the Germans succeed in regaining influence in that region, will history repeat itself?

Your Bible prophesies of an imperial power rising within the north (Europe) that will wield tremendous political and economic influence in the very near future, to the extent that its merchants will trade in “slaves, and souls of men” (Revelation 18:13). This power is prophesied to increase its power toward the south (Africa) and the east (Palestine). You may read of that in Daniel 8:9.

Is there a risk of the experience of slavery and genocide, endured by the peoples of southwest Africa under their former Teutonic masters, about to be repeated? Fearing this prospect, some voices are already being raised in concern at the future consequences of Germany’s increasing military presence in Africa.

Watch Africa as the competition for its resources and cheap labor heats up. Watch for Germany’s influence in Africa to be aided, abetted and encouraged by a U.S. and Britain seemingly oblivious to the stern lessons of history. Watch events building in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Indeed, as the Savior of the world admonished in Mark 13:33, “watch and pray”!