German Militarism Reawakens After World War II

Members of a mechanized infantry unit of the Bundeswehr
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

German Militarism Reawakens After World War II

“Germany is making national and collective defense its priority, which is a first since the Second World War,” German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius told an audience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies on May 9.

His speech revolved around a new militarized Germany, but this one sentence alone should ring alarm bells in everyone’s ears. Perhaps that’s why the official transcript posted on the Defense Ministry’s website leaves the World War ii reference out. But Politico and other media outlets took note of it.

The last time Germany made defense its priority was indeed during World War ii—and it cost tens of millions of lives. Today, anyone who draws such comparisons is quickly accused of having anti-German sentiment. But this development demands a critical examination.

Germany is the third-largest economy in the world. This year it will spend 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense, making it one of the top military spenders in the world. But apparently that’s not enough: Pistorius announced that Germany will spend 3 percent on its military soon.

Germany is militarizing rapidly!

On top of this, the German military is undergoing reforms to make it more effective, casting off additional World War ii restraints, and getting ready for modern warfare (read “Prepare for War: Germany Reorganizes Its Military”). Pistorius noted:

I am working hard to ensure that our spending and our investments will continue to rise. Two percent is our floor, not our ceiling. We have understood: The times of the peace dividend are over.

We are spending money on vital assets and capabilities—for example to procure tanks, frigates, submarines, ammunition, deep-fire capabilities, F-35 fighter aircraft and CH-47F helicopters—and to strengthen the much-needed air defense. We have opened new production lines in Germany and are buying additional defense equipment, arms and ammunition in Europe as well as the [United States]. With U.S. defense companies alone, we currently have around 380 contracts, with a total value of around $23 billion.

Second: We are working very hard to prepare the Bundeswehr for today’s challenges. That includes restructuring our armed forces as well as rethinking and improving the recruitment and retention process for our armed personnel.

As many of you will know, Germany like many other countries suspended conscription after the end of the Cold War. But times have changed. I am convinced that Germany needs some kind of military conscription. We need to ensure our military staying power in a state of national or collective defense.

Perhaps more astonishing than the increased spending is Germany’s frankness about the procurement of weapons and increased military focus. Just a few years ago, this would have been unthinkable!

There is a serious shift in the military mentality in Germany. In November, an ndr documentary showed a worker at arms manufacturer Rheinmetall who said that society today is much more open to people working in the arms industry than before Russia’s brutal 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

This is a massive pendulum swing that could easily go unnoticed, especially if you live outside Germany. Given the nation’s past, many were ashamed to talk about their contributions to the arms industry. But now that Europe is at war, the arms industry is seen as a needed savior!

Last October, Pistorius said: “We have to get used to the idea that there could be a threat of war in Europe. And that means we have to become fit for war.”

This was an unusual statement. Usually a German defense minister would say, We have to get ready to defend ourselves. Germany doesn’t have a war ministry; it has a Defense Ministry. Of course, if attacked, Germany would be at war—but changing the rhetoric is critical to get the nation to think more and more in terms of war.

German war thinking is reawakening!

The Trumpet and its predecessor, the Plain Truth, have observed German military developments for decades and have boldly proclaimed that Germany would rise again militarily. This forecast goes back to the late Herbert W. Armstrong who predicted German reunification and militarism after World War ii. In the decades since, Germany has never taken such enormous steps toward militarization as it is now, and never before has the world cheered for it as it does today.

We live in a world of increased military conflicts and wars, and Germany’s military rise will only lead to more escalation. God compares the rising military power in Germany to a “seething pot,” ready to boil over, and He warns, “Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land” (Jeremiah 1:13-14).

Numerous biblical prophecies warn about our world heading toward the escalation prophesied in Matthew 24. It will be a time so dreadful that it will require God’s intervention to stop the madness!

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry recently wrote a detailed article about this subject: “Germany’s Astonishing Military Rise.” His article highlights Mr. Armstrong’s forecast, how it seemed impossible, and how it is being fulfilled today. Read it to learn more.