Berlin in the Spotlight


Berlin in the Spotlight

Suddenly Germany is propelled onto center stage.

Economic crisis, monetary crisis, unemployment crisis, defense crisis, political crisis, and to top it all off, one of the harshest winters in decades. This winter has not been kind to Germany. Over the past few months Berlin has been pushed into the spotlight in world news due to a series of seeming sudden crises.

Having been conditioned since World War ii to taking a lesser profile in global news, indeed even going to great lengths to hide some of the most significant of its achievements for fear of resurrecting old Germanophobias, the German nation is suddenly adjusting to the bright glare of media publicity. But so much of what is being highlighted in the glare seems thoroughly negative. In Germany, the operative word for the season is crisis!

Vastly overshadowing all the other woes Germany faces is the crisis in the eurozone triggered by the imminent default on its overwhelming debts by EU member nation Greece. This has placed the very system that Germany created to control and regulate the EU’s financial transactions in a state of crisis. All eyes are now on Germany, the most wealthy and powerful of all EU nations, as the leading EU nation considers its options.

But this is by no means the first crisis Germany has faced in recent times. And it won’t be the last. Yet this current series of crises poses high risk for global stability. The reason is, Germans have had a habitual reaction to crisis that has tended to make them highly unpopular at times with their neighbors.

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, during probably one of his saner moments, mused, “The German soul has its passageways and inter-passageways; there are caves, hideouts and dungeons in it; its disorder has a good deal of the attraction of the mysterious; the German is an expert on the secret paths to chaos” (Beyond Good and Evil).

Such souls created the idea of a European Union manufactured by treaty. But this old illusion of a pan-European empire, reaching out beyond the Continent to embrace the whole world, had been tried twice before in the 20th century with horrific results. Documented history reveals that influential German elites involved in the disastrous second attempt at the seizure of global power between 1939 and 1945 took that ever resurrecting vision underground during the closing stages of World War ii. They then ensured that the idea of an imperial Europe was perpetuated through a following generation. That generation was highly successful in creating, over time and by multiple treaties, a European empire, finally launched—its ultimate intentions still cloaked in its “peaceful,” “democratic” garments—on Jan. 1, 2010.

There is now a third generation on the scene that is rapidly moving up within European politics, finance, business, industry and the church, intent on seeing that vision reach its full potential. Some of the old guard in Rome, Berlin and Vienna are still on the scene as their chief counselors and guides.

Yet it’s the third generation implanted with that old “Holy” Roman Teutonic vision that finds its rise now stalling by the onset of crisis in Germany.

Berlin gives the impression today that it is living under a cloud of impending chaos. German politics are fractured as Chancellor Merkel struggles to force a patently unworkable coalition to work. Economic policy is unclear. Disagreements continue over taxation policy. Conservatives and liberals are split over defense and security policy. Personality and ideological conflicts within her cabinet are rife. Rumbles of industrial unrest mount as the global recession continues to bite into the German economy. On top of it all comes the crisis in the Greek economy for which all are looking to Germany to pose and underwrite the solution. The future of the monetary unit that Germany forced onto the European Union appears to be in doubt. Meanwhile, the German public struggles under pressure to adjust its postwar mindset from one reflecting a classic peacekeeping democracy to that of an outward-looking re-militarized nation, supporting the Bundeswehr in a combat role—at war—in Afghanistan.

Lesser nations could be overwhelmed by such a set of crises. But not Germany. For history demonstrates that it has been crises, often of the nation’s own making, that have spurred the German people into action to impose very Germanic solutions to those crises!

Take the example of Franco-German cooperation, which many have touted as the underpinnings of true European unity. Recently any semblance of Franco-German cooperation in a couple of high-profile industrial agreements was fractured. Our friends at highlighted this classic case of the German approach to crisis.

For some time, France had limited Germany’s effort in producing warships by stifling plans for a joint Franco-German effort to create a common European shipbuilding enterprise. Typical (and no doubt strategically motivated) French recalcitrance over this deal led to a crisis. This spurred one of the German companies involved, ThyssenKrupp, to “renounce civilian ship production to concentrate its dockyards solely on arms production. It is entering a ‘strategic partnership’ with the Abu Dhabi Mar Co. from the United Arab Emirates (uae). Their deal seals the military alliance between Germany and the Emirates, possibly creating the opportunity for circumventing German arms exports regulations and ending efforts aimed at forging a German/French ship production …” (Oct. 26, 2009; emphasis mine throughout). As observed, this just goes to show that “If a German-dominated ‘European solution’ cannot be accomplished, Berlin will do without ‘Europe’ and go it alone.”

This solving of the crisis the German way rather than the “European” way was endorsed by none other than the chief sustainer of the EU monolith: Berlin! “According to the daily Frankfurter Allgemine Zeitung, this means that the project of a common European maritime shipbuilding industry is ‘as dead as a doornail.’ As a matter of fact, the arms cooperation with the Gulf state was already cleared with the representatives of the Berlin government: ‘We have sounded out all of the ministries and received a very positive prevailing sentiment,’ ThyssenKrupp declared. Cooperation with the Emirates is ‘far more sustainable than a European maritime company,’ according to the German press, which usually never tires of praising ‘Europe’ and ‘European solutions’—of course, only when German predominance in the ‘European’ project can be assured” (ibid.).

Yet another similar instance of Berlin’s “my way or the highway” approach was its support of another German corporation caught in yet another Franco-German crisis.

“Siemens recently terminated its nuclear cooperation with France, because Paris refused to give in to German demands for more influence in the nuclear sector, and began cooperation with Russia” (ibid.). Shades of the 1920s?

Both these reactions to similar crises depict Berlin’s reversion to a well-tried strategy. It’s a strategy enacted in cooperation with Berlin’s traditional supporters, the German industrialists. The trend we are seeing in Berlin’s reaction to any crisis facing the EU project is simply to impose the “German solution.” This reaction to crisis by Berlin has historic overtones. A closer look at the ThyssenKrupp example bears this out.

ThyssenKrupp found itself suffering seriously because of the global economic crisis. Its response to this crisis (having resulted in a €2 billion loss) was to consolidate its shipbuilding enterprises into one centralized operation, converting its whole operation to a war footing. As reported, “ThyssenKrupp has changed strategy, pulling out of building commercial vessels and fully concentrating on building warships.”

Berlin has been directly involved in supporting the ThyssenKrupp/Emirates deal. “The political ties between Berlin and the Arab feudal states are also being consolidated by the Gulf states’ investments in the German economy” (ibid.). Financial Times Deutschland reported, “Most recently, with a large financial transfusion, the Emirate of Qatar bought into Volkswagen, while the Aabar Investment Society of Abu Dhabi bought into the Daimler car producer. Just last June, ThyssenKrupp’s partner, the Abu Dhabi Mar Consortium, bought majority shares in the Nobiskrug Shipyard, which specializes in luxury ships, in Rendsburg, Germany.”

This is Germany’s more traditional approach to crisis—impositing the German solution. In each case, the solution has brought Germany closer, much closer, to militarizing its economy—something that Germany’s Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg called for recently at the Davos meeting.

Berlin’s cooperation with the uae began not long after the Berlin Wall fell and Germany reunited. Five years ago, that cooperation was formalized by the signing of an Agreement of Cooperation in the Military Field. Since then, the Gulf States have increasingly invested in the German economy and strengthened political ties with Berlin. To students of Bible prophecy, such an agreement has powerful overtones of a prophesied alliance (Psalm 83) between Germany and the oil-rich southern Arab states.

An old strategy in response to the current series of crises that Berlin faces is rapidly emerging. It’s a reaction that recurs throughout Germany’s history as a nation. Germany is reverting to its historical militarized role in global politics.

“Abu Dhabi’s joining the German maritime shipbuilding industry signals Berlin’s fundamental change of strategy in its long-term efforts to help bring the German arms industry to a position of predominance in Europe” (ibid.).

As Baron Guttenberg declared at Davos, the time has come for Germany once again to merge economic policy with military policy. As he declared at the Munich Security Conference a week later, the time for talk is over: It’s time for action.

The result of this increasing pace in the militarization of the German economy will pale the previous two occasions when Berlin adopted such a strategy into stark insignificance.

If you really understand this, then you should know by now what to do about it. If you do not believe it, all you have to do is wait and in due time you will witness, and feel, its horrific effects. Either way, do yourself a favor and at least educate yourself in its history. A good place to start would be by reading our publications The United States and Britain in Prophecy and Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.