The German Question Returns

Europe is yet again being shaped by Germany. What impact will this have on the future?

If there was one prophecy for which Herbert Armstrong was known throughout his long ministry of almost 60 years, it was the reunification of Germany. He publicized that prophecy with ever-increasing detail over the years, from the time of the partition of Germany by the Allies in 1945 until his death on Jan. 16, 1986.

Herbert Armstrong died almost four years before that prophecy was fulfilled. Yet fulfilled it was, beginning Nov. 9, 1989, with the breaching of the Berlin Wall.

This November, the 20th anniversary of that event will be celebrated in Berlin, currently enjoying its revived and remodeled status as capital of a united Germany. With that nation’s rise to dominance in Europe, one burning question remains to be answered: “the German question.”

What Is the “German Question”?

According to German historian Heinrich Winkler, that question “arose on Aug. 6, 1806, when Franz ii, the last emperor of the of the German Nation, bowed down to an ultimatum from Napoleon, laid down his crown, relieved the estates of their duties and thereby dissolved the ‘Old Empire’” (Facts About Germany).

The question then became: Just where does Germany belong in Europe, what are its borders, and what is to be its role within Europe?

Three times since Emperor Franz relinquished the imperial crown of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, Germany has sought to answer the “German question” by warfare—the Franco-Prussian War, which ended with Germany’s seizure of Alsace Lorraine from the French in 1871; World War i, which concluded with an armistice in 1918; and World War ii, which the Allied nations won in 1945.

Winkler maintains that the “German question” was finally resolved on Oct. 3, 1990. That was when East Germany—the German Democratic Republic—united with West Germany to form one unified Federal Republic of Germany. German President Richard von Weizsäcker observed at the time, “The day has come on which for the first time in history the whole of Germany takes a permanent place among Western democracies.”

Yet to those who have observed Germany’s 64-year journey from vanquished enemy of the West to seemingly upright, peace-loving democracy, there remains a “German question”: Has the imposition of a democratic system on the nation changed its heart and core, the nature of its peoples? If similar opportunities were presented to today’s Germany as those presented periodically over the past two centuries that stimulated these people to initiate war, could it happen again?

In order to answer that question, we need a grasp of history, an understanding of biblical prophecy, and the ability to relate both to current world events. That is the perspective from which we look at developments rapidly unfolding in Europe.

What we observe happening in Europe has us deeply concerned for the immediate future of its populace. Not only that, it has us deeply concerned for the immediate future of the Anglo-Saxon peoples. We perceive a repetition of history, supported by the reality of biblical prophecy in the obvious process of being fulfilled through current events on both sides of the Atlantic. Events some of us have been expectantly watching to unfold for over half a century are suddenly falling into place!

Five distinct elements within the “German question” are currently operating to propel Germany to the forefront as a global power: a crucial alliance; territorial boundaries; trade and finance practices; security and defense arrangements; and nuclear power. An overarching theme in each of these elements involves the progressive isolation of the United States in international affairs.

One: The Russo-German Alliance

One international relationship in particular is worth watching as it unfolds in a remarkable repetition of history—at the same time fulfilling, even more remarkably, Bible prophecy for our time. It is a relationship that remains crucial to addressing the revived “German question.”

In 1922, after World War i, 34 nations, excluding the U.S., met in Genoa, Italy, to attempt to rebuild European finance and commerce. This was the first postwar conference attended by Germany and Russia where they were accepted on equal status with the rest of the international community. A prime issue was Russia’s huge war debt.

The whole agenda of the Genoa conference was subverted by Germany and Russia meeting separately, in secret, in Rapallo, Italy, to conclude their own agreement, known as the Rapallo Treaty. This involved not only the mutual cancellation of debt, but also Russia granting most-favored-nation status to Germany. This worked to Germany’s great advantage in its own plans to secretly rearm.

After the signing of the Rapallo Treaty, secret deals allowed Germany to develop and produce military hardware using Russian industry. This circumvented the Treaty of Versailles, which specifically banned Germany from rearming via its own industrial capacity. The result, 17 years later, was a fully rearmed Germany ready for war.

Then came August 1939. On the eve of Germany instigating the aggression of World War ii, the process repeated. This time, the foreign ministers involved were Russia’s Vyacheslav Molotov and Germany’s Joachim von Ribbentrop. They negotiated a non-aggression agreement—the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact—that included a secret plan to divide territory after Hitler’s intended attack on Poland.

This was to have a very bitter result in Russia when Hitler turned on his eastern ally, as he always had secretly intended to do, resulting in the slaughter of multiple millions of Russians. Once again Russia survived to rue the day it had trusted in an alliance with the German nation.

Track forward to 2009. Similar to the 1920s, the leading nations met—this time conferring in a flurry of activity in Washington, Berlin, Brussels and London—to negotiate over how to stabilize the global economy. Similar to the 1930s, the world is caught in a gigantic economic and financial freefall. And once again, for the third time in less than a century, amid similar economic circumstances, Germany and Russia want to cement an alliance outside of, and separate from, any arrangements concluded between other nations.

Two: Territorial Borders

We have documented in detail the progressive colonization of Europe by Germany, via the institution currently termed the European Union. Today’s economic crisis is suddenly placing this all in perspective.

Under the headline “A New Colonialism,” the Economist pointed to an “extraordinary new plan” being put forward for the European Commission which “proposes that European officials and diplomats should be involved in monitoring implementation of laws, managing EU funds and supervising courts, prosecutors and investigators” in EU member nations (March 19). The plan is being put forward by Bulgaria, whose foreign minister, Ivaylo Kalfin, encourages consideration of the scheme not only for his own country but for all EU member nations. The Economist pointed out that ex-Soviet states often distrust the corrupt national regimes that have taken over since the Soviet Union’s demise. Conditioned to state intervention by their 70 years under Communist rule, their populations would tend to more readily embrace such intervention by the EU.

All Europe is now looking to Germany for leadership in an hour of crisis. The political, economic and social disorder rippling across Europe presents Germany—Europe’s leading political and economic entity—the ideal opportunity to cement a “new colonialism.” Watch for it to rise to the occasion by invitation, securing its hold on Europe from the North Sea to the Mediterranean and from Ireland to the Black Sea.

Questions remain over the future of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, squeezed between the two EU member nations of Poland and Lithuania. Kaliningrad may yet be traded off by Russia to the EU, similar to Kosovo, in any future deals between Germany and Russia over EU-Russia territory.

Crucial to Germany consolidating its colonial empire is its border with Russia’s own revived empire. Russia has already given fair warning that territory east of the Black Sea is non-negotiable—witness its recent incursion into Georgia. The contest for political influence and territorial gain continues in regions such as the Middle East and Africa. So far, Germany is carefully balancing its involvement in Iran; Russia and Germany both contribute to that nation’s industrial development. Germany, under the EU umbrella, is well ahead of Russian involvement in the Palestinian peace process.

Similarly, the strength of the German economy has permitted it to gain on Russia in extending its interests in its former African colonies. Both countries will continue to compete with each other against embedded Chinese interests in Africa. Access to that continent’s rich resources—as well as its strategically located seaports—provides the motive.

Latin America—a continent ruled by one religion, Roman Catholicism—will naturally fall to the German-dominated European power as it consolidates its global-power status.

However, just as in 1922 and 1939, what is most crucial to both Germany and Russia is to secure their main European continental border. Germany simply cannot afford to have its focus divided while pursuing its expansionist goals. It must secure its eastern border with Russia so it can continue marching south, west and on into the Middle East. In this respect, it appears Ukraine is the patsy being yielded to Russia, and Kosovo the fall guy being sacrificed to the German-empowered EU.

Three: Trade and Finance

When the old Nazis of the World War ii era went underground, embedding themselves in operative cells in Spain and Latin America, merging into the background of society from Canada to Australia, they took with them their dream of world conquest. They kept their determination to revive their beloved fatherland into an imperial Fourth Reich. We should not forget also that, after the Allies failed in their attempt to denazify Germany, many Nazi operatives returned to positions of influence within the postwar German administration, continuing to subtly inject their ideology into the minds of subsequent generations.

British political economist Rodney Atkinson has clearly exposed the parallels between the Nazis’ imperialist dream, using a united Europe as the platform from which to launch their global conquest, and the progressive unfolding of that vision into a reality via the European Union (see box). Some maintain that the system of finance and economy that underpins Europe was geared to ensure dependence of the whole continent on German economic and financial leadership. Reuters has reported, “Speculation has grown in recent weeks that stronger members of the 16-nation eurozone, like Germany, could step in at some stage to help ailing partners” (March 20). The same source confirmed that German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück “has acknowledged that Berlin stands ready to help weaker euro members.”

Just how far will such assistance reach, and more importantly, what strings will the German government attach to any such deal? A law recently rushed through parliament opens the door to action that comes just too close for comfort to Germany’s 1930s nationalist socialist approach to finance and economics. Spiegel reported that the law, passed by the German Bundestag on March 20, “gives Chancellor Merkel the power to expropriate shareholders in the ailing real-estate lender hre. It could become the first such expropriation in Germany since the 1930s. … Some have … said the law represents the breaking of a taboo in Germany given the country’s experience with expropriations under the Nazis …” (March 20).

Follow the progression: From free-trade agreements to a common market. From a common market to a common currency. From dependence on the EU’s most powerful economy for capital investment to dependence on that economy and a central bank based within that same nation for economic bailout—then, finally, to expropriation of private shareholder property.

It’s all too close to the old Nazi dream to be coincidence.

Four: Security and Defense

Germany has for some time been encouraged by other EU nations and, in particular, by the United States, to shoulder a greater burden in the defense and security of not only Europe, but in theaters such as Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf. Almost every step of the way, Germany has appeared reluctant to oblige. Now, things are changing—and much more rapidly than most of our mass media have grasped. All of a sudden, Germany’s postwar image as a reluctant debutante has been replaced by that of a new, vigorous, highly inventive, state-of-the-art emerging military power!

The ascendancy of a new American president has catalyzed certain elites in Berlin and Brussels. They view America’s moment of political weakness as their opportunity for revived strength. Distracted by a massive financial and economic headache, the American administration is giving inadequate attention to foreign policy.

This presents Germany with the ideal opening to speed up negotiations with Russia to form a security and defense alliance destined ultimately not only to cut America out of its postwar role as leader of a transatlantic alliance, but also eventually to topple it from its global power perch.

At the same time, Germany is positioning itself to lead the EU to divorce itself from any dependence on the U.S. for military intelligence. Seemingly overnight, Germany has become the leader in space-age international spying.

No outside power has pressured Germany into doing this. Germany has of its own volition, under the EU umbrella, quietly developed this spying capability without much publicity. It is about to propel the German nation into the position of dominance not only in Europe, but on a world scale, in the art of gathering of military intelligence.

In World Wars i and ii, the British were able to crack the codes of the enemy and thus gather crucial intelligence on German troop movements. This strategic edge, together with the British lead in radar technology, was crucial to Anglo-Saxon victory in both world wars. However, German elites learned much from their devastating defeat in both those wars—much that has stimulated their effort to place Germany in the forefront of military intelligence.

The astute team at reported that Germany recently propelled itself into a leading global position in satellite-empowered military surveillance. “Having launched a new reconnaissance satellite-based system, the German Bundeswehr is celebrating its enhanced capacity for carrying out independent military operations. The sar-Lupe system, which had achieved full operational capability at the end of 2008, has catapulted the German Armed Forces into a position of world leader in radar-based reconnaissance, according to a high-ranking officer. With this ‘new instrument at its disposal’ Berlin can, ‘at its own political volition, gather exclusive and global data independently.’ This new reconnaissance capacity has drastically reduced its ‘dependence on other countries’ in the field of security policy. … The spy satellites will not only provide information to the Bundeswehr but also to the foreign intelligence service” (March 6; emphasis mine).

That development is shocking enough, considering Germany has transformed in only 20 years from being a divided nation only permitted to defend its own borders under nato’s purview to being a reunited nation that leads the world in extraterrestrial spying! But what is even more shocking is the revelation of which nation has been Germany’s partner in the development of this state-of-the-art spy technology: Russia! “Moscow played a key role in supporting the development of the satellite-based system that will foster the trend toward independence from Washington” (ibid.).

Manfred Fuchs, ceo of the lead contractor responsible for developing the sar-Lupe project, Bremen-based ohb System AG, declared that, on the radar level, “Germany is world champion. There is no comparable system” (ibid.).

Germany’s new spy satellite system is part of a program of global reconnaissance termed gmes, for Global Monitoring for Environment and Security, based in Berlin. This program is regarded as the flagship for the European Union’s future space projects. Commenting on the program, EU Industry Commissioner Günter Verheugen declared that it would literally transform Europe into a “space power” (ibid.).

Any Anglo-Saxon military strategist with a knowledge of history from 1871 to 1945 ought to be deeply worried about these developments! Consider the ramifications: a German leadership position in global surveillance, developed in partnership with Russia, part of a program to transmute the EU into a space power, with the intention of the entire program being used for military purposes!

Five: Nuclear Empowerment

If that development sends shivers up the spine of the generation that remembers the events of 70 years ago, then check this out: “Through its nuclear alliance with Moscow, the German Siemens Corp. now has the perspective of participating in military nuclear projects. This is the outcome of the most recent talks held by the corporation’s leaders with the prime minister of Russia” (ibid., February 12).

Described as having happened via “rapidly initiated cooperation,” the Siemens agreement primarily is with the “Rosatom nuclear administration, which is also in control of the military nuclear sector. Rosatom has currently drawn public attention because it is completing the Iranian Bushehr nuclear power plant, whose construction had been initiated by Siemens. The German-Russian nuclear alliance is projected to last for decades …” (ibid.). The giant German corporation Siemens has long possessed part ownership of “a Russian turbine producer that produces also components for nuclear submarines and the arms industry.” If that’s not déjà vu 1922 then there’s something wrong with my sense of history!

To those who have closely watched Germany’s rapid development into a military power of global standing since the nation’s reunification barely 20 years ago, these are startling developments. Defense experts from Washington and London ought to be in a huddle to decide how to counter the future risks to their nations’ security that such initiatives portend.

Don’t hold your breath. The American president has recently insulted Britain’s prime minister and declined an invitation to speak before the European Parliament. This behavior indicates that not much of a climate exists for any real dialogue emerging between the parties on this revived “German question.” Certainly few indications exist that either London or Washington even begin to perceive the reality of the dangers inherent in Germany’s sudden propulsion to global dominance in satellite-based spy expertise and involvement in the production of nuclear weaponry.

After all, to correctly assess the risks such initiatives pose for global security, one would have to at least begin with a sense of history, something that both the current British and American socialist-inclined governments appear to possess in quite small quantities.

No, the “German question” was not answered in 1990. It was actually revived! Revived by virtue of a newly revitalized German nation impelled along a path by closeted elites still pursuing the same old Nazi vision: dominance of Europe as a platform for global hegemony!

Germany has dominated Europe in trade, finance and economic strength for decades. It remains the world’s greatest single exporter of goods. Despite the aspirations of the current French president, Germany is the leading political influence in Europe, by far. Now, Germany suddenly leaps into view as the “world champion” in military intelligence and has active technical capacity for producing nuclear weapons in association with Russia! From that position, it becomes but an academic question as to how soon Germany will dominate Europe as its supreme military power.

There remains but one piece of the puzzle to be put in place so the “German question” can be resolved by a German answer. The complete, and final, resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire can only fulfill its prophesied role by the imposition of a powerful spiritual force, a universal religion that claims its right as nourisher of the roots of European civilization. For this we must continue to watch for the connection to be yet bound between Berlin and Rome.

In the words of Jesus Christ, it’s time for those who have ears to hear “what the spirit says” to “watch and pray” with greater vigor than ever!

The sudden return of the “German question” is but a gigantic sign that the return of Jesus Christ to impose the government of universal peace on this world “is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33).

For a more complete history linked with the prophecies of Germany’s importance in the fulfillment of the events of the age, study our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.