Why You Should Watch Edmund Stoiber
Elections will be held September 22 to choose a chancellor of Germany. Whoever is elected will immediately become the most powerful politician in Europe.
Edmund Stoiber is challenging the incumbent chancellor, Gerhard Schröder. The polls show Stoiber slightly ahead. If he is elected, it will dramatically change the course of European and world history—and we need to understand why.
An Impressive Record
Edmund Stoiber is prime minister of Bavaria, Germany’s oldest and largest state. He is head of the Catholic Christian Social Union (csu).
“Schröder has failed to keep a pre-election promise to bring unemployment below 3.5 million and, as the figure creeps above 4 million, it could cost him his job,” Kate Connolly wrote January 20 in the Sunday Observer. “Nor has he managed to improve the country’s growth rate, the lowest in Europe for nearly a decade.
“In contrast, the silver-haired, 60-year-old Stoiber, who this month elbowed Angela Merkel, head of the cdu [Christian Democratic Union], out of the chancellorship race, has as his trump card the achievements of a region where the superlatives flow as freely as the beer.
“Apart from being home to more cows, churchgoers and breweries than any other part of Germany, the southern Catholic stronghold boasts the lowest crime rate, the highest incomes and growth rates, the lowest debt and, at 5 percent, an unemployment rate around half the national average. Stoiber is a disciple of Franz Josef Strauss, the father of Bavaria’s economic success, who built close links between industry and education and invested massively in transport and infrastructure” (emphasis mine throughout).
Bbc News said Stoiber helped turn Bavaria “from a rural backwater into a high-tech hub” (Jan. 15). It explained, “By reinvesting, rather than squandering, the proceeds of privatization programs, he managed to attract high-tech industries to the region, creating as many [as] 100,000 jobs in the state since 1996. There are now an estimated 70,000 it workers in Munich alone.”
Regarding Stoiber’s chances in the coming election, the bbc concluded, “Add to that some of the best growth rates in the nation and it starts to look like a recipe for success.”
Mr. Stoiber has been a proponent of German nuclear power and restraining immigration. He is a strong Catholic, as are most Bavarians. His csu is Germany’s strongest right-wing party. Mr. Stoiber is a friend of Austria’s extreme-right leader, Jörg Haider. He said, “We are against bureaucracy in Brussels and centralization of political power in the hands of bureaucrats” (ibid.).
Stoiber said Mr. Schröder has “sacrificed too much national substance on the altar of Europe” (ibid.). He believes in the “dominance of German culture.” Many critics have labeled that statement as racist. But Mr. Stoiber has not recanted. He believes in a strong Germany leading Europe.
He also believes in close ties with the Roman Catholic Church. As we have written repeatedly in the Trumpet, the combination of Germany and the Vatican will give rise to the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire—as it has done for 1,500 years!
Edmund Stoiber may be destined to have a future that will shock the whole world. If so, that future would have its roots in a fascinating history.
His Political Mentor
Mr. Stoiber was personally hand-picked by Franz Josef Strauss to continue his work. Strauss was his political father. That helps us to see that Mr. Strauss was not a normal politician. How many politicians choose a loyal supporter to carry on their work after they are dead?
Strauss was the most competent German politician of his time—“the father of Bavaria’s economic success.” And he just may be the “father” of a European Union that staggers the world!
London’s Financial Times wrote this about Stoiber on February 5: “Before becoming state premier and party leader, Mr. Stoiber occupied important state posts in Bavaria, including csu general secretary, interior minister and election campaign manager for Franz Josef Strauss, Bavaria’s dominant post-war political leader. He is more than familiar with—and helped shape—the formidable csu political machine that has ruled Bavaria. …
“He acted as campaign manager in the 1980 federal elections in the failed bid by former Bavarian premier Franz Josef Strauss to become chancellor, gaining a national reputation as a right-wing hardliner. As Bavarian interior minister (1988-93), he took a tough stance on security issues and spoke out strongly against more liberal immigration and asylum rules.”
The late Herbert W. Armstrong met with Mr. Strauss in 1970. Here is what Mr. Armstrong’s Plain Truth staff wrote, September 1979: “In The World Tomorrow television studios on April 2, 1970, Strauss reemphasized a theme that has been constant throughout his career—the urgent need, from his perspective, of a strong united Europe. Asked why he felt a united Europe was essential to the free world, he answered: ‘A united Europe is more essential now for the free world than it would have been anytime before. … Big powers have been established, the United States of America, Russia, Japan. I think that small and medium-sized European states are no longer able to face what the future demands from all of us. …
“‘Therefore my political friends and I have been pleading for years and years now for a united Europe. … We need a strong Europe, a Europe with an attractiveness, a Europe with a fascinating cultural, economic, financial power, and a Europe which is also ready and prepared and capable of taking a greater share of the burden in Atlantic defense.’”
The Plain Truth later quoted a Sunday Telegraph article about Strauss, which said that as Germany’s chancellor, “he will go for a tougher and more disenchanted view of détente [peace through negotiation]; a strengthening of nato’s defenses and a much stronger European profile within that alliance, including a new European nuclear profile” (July 9, 1979).
The Plain Truth continued, “A German government with Strauss at the helm would also pursue, as he has said, ‘an African policy that corresponds with real German interests.’
“These interests, in his view, do not involve the overthrow of moderate forces in southern Africa and the mollycoddling of Marxist revolutionaries. Continued access to the mineral riches of the African subcontinent and protection of the strategic Cape Route—avenue for much of Europe’s oil supply—are vital to Germany’s interests. …
“Strauss, who more than any man can lay claim to being the architect of the Bundeswehr [Germany’s army] is certain to voice his opinion on this issue and others loud and clear!”
So you could say Franz Josef Strauss was also the father of a powerful German army.
Mr. Strauss wrote a book, The Grand Design, to expound his vision for Europe. The cover jacket for the book quotes the Washington Post as saying, “Time and again, when Strauss rises to speak, his fiercest foes listen most intently, his hecklers give ground. … He is the most capable of the German politicians. … There has never been any doubt that Strauss as chancellor would get Germany ‘moving again’—the question has always been ‘moving in which direction?’”
In biblical language, that question is about a resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire (write for our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire).
In that book, Strauss wrote, “An alliance of the great power of America with the great power of Europe is another matter. Both of them have an unlimited capacity for development in the economic, financial and technical spheres, and their alliance would enable Europe to return to its true historical function. Europe could again fulfill the historical role which it began to lose at the end of the First World War and which at the end of the Second World War appeared to have gone forever.”
What is Europe’s “true historical function”? It is primarily the Holy Roman Empire—the bloodiest institution this world has ever created!
Is this where Europe is headed—again?
Stoiber’s Global Vision
Mr. Stoiber, Strauss’s successor, had this to say about Gerhard Schröder: “All he wants is power—Schröder has no vision for Germany” (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Feb. 13). Mr. Schröder’s vision is much less focused than Stoiber’s.
Stoiber has a vision for Germany, and he plans on taking the EU with him. But where would this vision take Europe? He wants a strong “federation” within the EU. A powerful political government is one of his great passions.
This is a vision that frightened Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of Britain. She warned against such an EU: “You have not anchored Germany to Europe; you have anchored Europe to a newly dominant, unified Germany. In the end, my friends, you’ll find it will not work” (The Downing Street Years).
Webster’s Dictionary defines federalism as the “establishment of a strong centralized government; to put under the authority of a federal government; specifically designating or of a union of states groups etc. in which each member agrees to subordinate its power to that of the central authority in common affairs” (see Rev. 17:12-13). Many authorities know that Germany will dominate the EU, guided by the Roman Catholic Church.
This is what happened in Yugoslavia. Germany and the Vatican recognized the breakaway republics of Croatia and Slovenia. Virtually the whole world was against them, but Germany prevailed. This led to a civil war and the breakup of Yugoslavia—the pieces of which are now virtually controlled by a German-led EU.
That is only a small beginning of the next resurrection of the so-called Holy Roman Empire!
Mr. Stoiber is a strong Catholic and has a powerful vision of the EU becoming another Holy Roman Empire. That is his grand design.
The Economist of April 20, 1996, reported, “At other times Mr. Stoiber shows his training in the Strauss school of populism. He blasts at Germany’s constitutional court for telling his state that it could not oblige schools to hang crucifixes in every classroom (he seems to have found a way round that ruling and the crucifixes are still there).”
The Holy Roman Empire’s goal has always been to rule the world. So his vision extends beyond Europe.
“One of the mysteries of Bavarian politics is the drive for international representation.
“Theoretically, that is the role of Berlin. Theoretically, the csu should be content that Bavaria has the best schools (it has), the lowest unemployment (it has) and the widest range of wonderful beers in Germany (it has). But Bavaria is always different.
“Franz Josef Strauss, the dominant csu politician of the post-war period, always saw himself as an international figure, active in Washington, Brussels and East Berlin—where he arranged loans with the ailing Communist gdr.
“Foreign adventure is a vital component of Bavarian self-confidence.
“Stoiber and the csu espouse this tradition. So Stoiber has cultivated ex-Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. He has yet to become an outspoken ‘Friend of the usa’ though this is his traditional role. He did support President George W. Bush’s missile-defense system when there were very severe doubts in Germany. Some time later, he was seconded by Chancellor Schröder: A statesmanlike triumph, based on international vision” (www .germanyspellsbusiness.com, March 25).
That 1979 Plain Truth article contained some more history that we must review. It said, “Otto von Habsburg, 66, the eldest son of the last Austro-Hungarian emperor, was elected June 10 as one of West Germany’s 81 representatives to the enlarged and strengthened European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. His victory at the polls could have a wide-ranging effect on the future of the entire European continent. …
“In an interview some years earlier, von Habsburg asserted: ‘Right now politically the only thing one can do in the West is to see to it that the West be united as fast as possible—that we have the United States of Europe here, in order to give all those nations [in Eastern Europe] who are now separated from Europe an alternative when the time comes—God knows when it’s going to come, but it will come one day.’ …
“On other topics, von Habsburg’s views are equally outspoken. On the subject of European security, he strongly advocates less reliance by Western Europe on American military muscle, citing the negative impact of the Vietnam defeat on U.S. resolve and reliability.
“On the United Nations, he has declared that the organization is dominated by ‘anti-European illiterates, despots and cannibals.’ …
“Possibly von Habsburg’s most controversial suggestion has been his recipe for dealing with national emergencies. In the April 1978 issue of his conservative publication Zeitbühne, he suggested that in certain emergency situations (such as nuclear blackmail or other major acts of terrorism) governments should let a strongman take over for a period of nine months, allowing him to suspend laws and ‘take all measure necessary for the maintenance of the life of the population.’
“As could be expected, vocal criticism of this one-man-rule scheme was swift in coming. …
“Interestingly, von Habsburg counts Bavarian leader Franz Josef Strauss among ‘the few full-blooded politicians’ who ‘in the case of serious national crises are able to accept responsibility because of their clear-sightedness and indomitableness.’ Von Habsburg says he is ‘personally pretty close to his [Strauss’s] ideas in many ways on the European unity subject. [So Strauss was also the father of most of Habsburg’s EU ideas.] …
“The zenith of Habsburg power came in the 16th century under Emperor Charles v. Chosen by electors in 1519 at the age of 20, Charles was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo x in October 1520. He ruled until 1556 and is considered to have been the greatest monarch to bear the imperial crown since Charlemagne. He was the last emperor to vigorously attempt to realize the medieval idea of a unified empire embracing the entire Christian world. [Let the Christian world beware!]
“The Habsburg dynasty was, according to Bible prophecy, the fourth of the prophesied seven resurrections of the Roman Empire. As longtime readers of this magazine will know, there remains yet one revival of the Roman Empire to come, which will consist of a union of 10 nations under the overall leadership of a strongman called in prophetic language ‘the beast.’ …
“Christopher Hollis, in the foreword to von Habsburg’s book The Social Order of Tomorrow, points out that Otto ‘would like to see Europe resume her essential unity, and in the symbolism of that unity he thinks that the imperial crown of Charlemagne and of the Holy Roman Empire might well have its part to play.’
“Inter-European unity has long been a quest of the Habsburg dynasty. Otto himself often speaks of the similarities between the Holy Roman Empire of the Middle Ages and his view of a coming United States of Europe. In this regard, Otto has stressed the importance of religion in the formation of a united Europe. He regards Christianity as Europe’s bulwark: ‘The cross doesn’t need Europe, but Europe needs the cross.’ Last April, he was received by Pope John Paul ii, and discussed at length the subject of European integration.
“Observers of the efforts toward European unity have often noted that a lacking vital ingredient on the European scene is a charismatic leader and organizing genius—a new Charlemagne ….”
But just who will that new Charlemagne be? The Bible defines him in shocking detail. Is the world about to be introduced to this man?
“King of Fierce Countenance”
Europe’s new currency, the euro, has become a powerful global currency. It has even become the official currency of Kosovo and Montenegro, states of former Yugoslavia—which Germany and the Vatican led nato to virtually destroy.
Soon the euro will replace the dollar as the world’s number-one currency! This developing superpower, the EU, is led by Germany—the same country that started World Wars i and ii.
Winston Churchill wanted a united states of Europe led by Britain. He said, “[I]t should be built by the English; if the Russians built it there would be communism and squalor; if the Germans built it there would be tyranny and brute force” (Martin Gilbert, The Churchill War Papers, vol. 3).
Whether we like it or not, the EU is being built by Germany. If Churchill was right, we can expect “tyranny and brute force.”
You are about to see his prophecy fulfilled dramatically! Bible prophecy makes that clear. The greatest and most destructive power ever on Earth is racing toward world power. It can be seen by anyone. But it will outstrip what anyone imagines—it is even beyond the ability to fully describe!
The vials of wrath are full, and unparalleled horror is about to fill this Earth—horrors we can’t even fathom.
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people” (Dan. 8:23-24). This is prophecy only for the end time (Dan. 12:4, 9).
This man’s power is not his own. He will be empowered by the evil god of this world, who is assisted by 10 kings (Rev. 13 and 17). He becomes possessed by the devil (Rev. 13:4).
He understands dark sentences. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon defines dark as “twisted, involved.” The Revised Standard Version describes him as “one who understands riddles.” Lange’s Commentary says “he is able to conceal his purposes from both friend and foe.”
The Soncino Commentary translates dark sentences as “stratagems,” which they define as, “lit. ‘riddles, cryptic sayings.’ The probable meaning is that he will be cunning and able to hide his real purpose behind a cloud of vague phrases. Antiochus was notorious for the facility with which he succeeded in concealing his motives. Bevan renders, ‘skilled in double-dealing.’”
This man is the supreme fulfillment of the Antiochus Epiphanes type. Antiochus was a master of intrigue.
Here is how the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary describes Antiochus: “Antiochus made himself master of Egypt and Jerusalem successively by craft (i Macc. 1:30, ‘The king sent his chief collector of tribute, who came unto Jerusalem with a great multitude, and spake peaceable words unto them; but all was deceit: for when they had given him credence, he fell suddenly upon the city, and smote it very sore, and destroyed much people of Israel,” etc.; ii Macc. 5:24, ‘Antiochus sent also that detestable ringleader, Apollonius, with an army of two and twenty thousand, commanding him to slay all those that were in their best age, and to sell the women and the younger sort; who, coming to Jerusalem, and pretending peace, did forbear till the holy day of the Sabbath, when, taking the Jews keeping holyday, he commanded his men to arm themselves, and so he slew all them that were gone to the celebrating of the Sabbath,’ etc.).”
He deceives both friend and foe. The nations of America, Britain and the Middle East Jews are to become this political combine’s “lovers.”
Look for the probability of the United States to become even better “friends” with Germany in the near future. Our peoples are going to experience a massive betrayal.
God’s Word has virtually no influence on the leaders of our nations. But failing to hear these words will become their most acute regret.
Dark sentences can also be translated “a vision.” Mr. Stoiber said Chancellor Schröder has “no vision.” In other words, Schröder is not so transfixed by the Holy Roman Empire vision to rule the world.
Daniel says this man will destroy mightily. He destroys many nations—and even God’s own people. Why would he do that? Because he is empowered by the devil!
It is time for God’s people and the nations of Israel to awaken!
Learning From Mistakes?
“What has carried Stoiber to within grasping distance of the most powerful job in Europe is not so much intellect as a combination of hard work—16-hour days—and thoroughgoing ruthlessness. There was a saying in the csu in the 1980s: ‘God forgives. Stoiber never’” (Spectator, Jan. 19).
A king of fierce countenance. That means this leader is harsh, cruel and bitterly hateful.
Does Stoiber have the potential to fulfill this prophecy? Remember, whoever this man is, he is going to have a mind change (Isa. 10:7; Hab. 1:11).
“And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand” (Dan. 8:25). This man is prophesied to have a policy of cunning intelligence and deadly deceit. That is his day-to-day policy! The way he does business.
How did he learn to be so cunning? Perhaps by seeing up-close the example of Strauss, his political mentor.
Mr. Strauss had a notorious “lack of oratorical self-control,” in the words of the Financial Times. That 1979 Plain Truth article quoted this Financial Times statement about Strauss: “Herr Strauss in full oratorical flight is a wonder—scattering ironic abuse like shrapnel amid opponents too shocked for a fast response. (Herr Strauss’s delivery, the Bundestag calculates, averages 311 syllables in 20 seconds against a parliamentary average of 288.)”
The Plain Truth then stated, “It was in 1962 that Strauss suffered his most severe personal setback. He was held responsible for police raids on the offices of the Hamburg newsmagazine Der Spiegel, which had published an article on nato,allegedly betraying state secrets. In the ensuing uproar, Strauss was accused of lying to the Bundestag and had to resign from office in disgrace.
“The incident would have destroyed lesser men. Strauss tumbled so low that virtually no public figures took his side. He went into retreat in his native Bavaria, seeking the advice of Catholic priests and his wife. He analyzed his past mistakes, determining how to rebuild his career without making the same mistakes.”
An ardent disciple like Stoiber can learn much from mistakes that probably kept Strauss from becoming chancellor.
A Man for Emergencies
The Germans yearn for a strong leader, especially in this age of terrorism and many other dangers.
Europe is prophesied to conquer radical Islam (Dan. 11:40-41; write for our free booklet The King of the South). The clash will revolve around Jerusalem and, probably to a lesser degree, oil. Europe is quite dependent on Middle East oil.
A serious economic crisis or some other disaster could cause the Germans to desire strongman Stoiber even more. Like his mentor, Strauss, he may be looked upon as a man for emergencies.
London’s Daily Telegraph wrote this on March 10: “German workers are seeking jobs abroad in unprecedented numbers in a poignant reversal of fortune for a country once famed for its importation of foreign labor.
“Officials announced last week that the number of Germans leaving to escape soaring unemployment rose by more than 2,000 to 14,000 between 2000 and 2001—the largest increase ever. The figure represents only a fraction of the real total, however, as many more find jobs through private recruitment agencies.
“The statistics, combined with figures showing unemployment at a three-year high of 4.3 million, were seen as a severe blow to Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s hopes of being returned to power in September after his pledge to cut unemployment to 3.5 million before the next election. Almost more humiliating for Germany than having to live with high unemployment was the revelation that the country that once attracted more than a million Yugoslav and Turkish guest workers in the years before reunification and sparked the British television comedy Auf Wiedersehn Pet about British builders working in Germany—is now experiencing a surge in its people seeking jobs abroad. …
“With unemployment now well above the 4 million mark—a psychological watershed that badly damages Mr. Schröder’s chances of re-election—and Germany recording the lowest economic growth rate in the EU, the country is being seen as the sick man of Europe. A team of government policy advisers predicts 0.7 percent growth this year.
“The government only narrowly escaped a reprimand from Brussels last month over its failure to adhere to the EU stability pact on monetary union. ‘Mr. Schröder’s government is bereft of ideas and helpless,’ said Edmund Stoiber …. ‘It is behaving like the owner of a house without a roof who hopes that better weather will solve his problems.’
“Mr. Schröder’s worsening predicament has enabled Mr. Stoiber to increase his lead in opinion polls to 6 percent since announcing his candidature in January.”
This crisis is apt to get worse before it gets better. If it does, Mr. Stoiber will be much more attractive to voters.
He is a man we all should watch.