Watch the German-Vatican Relationship

Watch the German-Vatican Relationship

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The Vatican’s history with Germany demands we keep a close eye on these two.

Pope Benedict xvi arrived home Sunday from a whirlwind four-day tour through Germany. Apparently the trip was a success, but not a rip-roaring, bring-the-house-down history-making event. “The pontiff put on a good show, but failed to electrify his audience,” was the way Spiegel Online put it.

Reading the mainstream media, one gets the distinct impression that the Vatican is a spent force. The pope, we’re led to believe, is a relic—more a popular curiosity than a serious, influential leader—who spends his days casting pearls before swine drunk on materialism and secularism.

At the Trumpet, our take on Pope Benedict and the Vatican is the precise opposite. For years, even decades now, we have explained to our readers that the Catholic Church will play a central role in the creation of a German-led European superstate. We’ve told readers to expect a Vatican-German alliance to develop, and to watch closely as this church-state combine forms. This forecast is rooted primarily in Bible prophecy. But it’s also rooted in the history of German-Vatican relations—and not just early history like that of Charlemagne, Otto the Great and the Habsburgs.

Most have forgotten today, but the Vatican was central to the rise of the Third Reich.

Take Eugenio Pacelli, the man who became Pope Pius xii, otherwise known as “Hitler’s pope.” Some are aware that Pope Pius xii turned a blind eye during World War ii as Italian Jews were driven past his doorstep in Rome, crammed into trains and dispatched to extermination camps in northern Europe. Some few know about the Vatican ratlines, the Catholic-controlled network through which key Nazi officials were smuggled out of Europe at the end of the war.

Very few, however, remember the role this Vatican official played in the rise of Nazi Germany.

It’s a remarkable history—one we must keep in mind.

As Benito Mussolini’s grip on Italy tightened during the 1920s, he proclaimed the Holy Roman Empire restored. In February 1929, Mussolini signed a pact with the Vatican, making Roman Catholicism the only recognized religion in fascist Italy. This agreement, known as the Lateran Treaty, delighted Pope Pius xi, who spoke of Mussolini as “a man sent by Providence.”

The creation of the Lateran Treaty had enormous impact on another budding authoritarian, a man determined to follow Mussolini’s example. Just days after the signing of the Lateran Treaty, Adolf Hitler wrote an article for the Völkischer Beobachter praising the agreement. Hitler held no political office at the time, but as he witnessed the role of the Vatican in Mussolini’s rise he realized the tremendous importance of having the Catholic Church as an ally. Like Charlemagne and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire before him, Hitler knew he needed the support of the Vatican if he was to exercise full control over Germany, Europe and eventually the world.

Enter Eugenio Pacelli. Pacelli was the papal nuncio (ambassador) to the German state from 1918 to 1930. In February 1930, Pacelli was appointed the Vatican’s secretary of state and moved back to Rome. As secretary of state, Pacelli’s primary goal was to sign an agreement with Germany. Thanks to his 11 years living in Germany, during which he developed a network of contacts and became intimate with the political machinations of government, Pacelli knew exactly which strings to pull to achieve his goal.

Almost immediately, Pacelli set about endorsing the Nationalist-Nazi-Catholic coalition that brought Hitler to the German chancellorship. For example, after he moved from Bavaria to Rome to take up his responsibilities as secretary of state in February 1930, Pacelli started spending time in the company of Monsignor Ludwig Kaas, a former Catholic priest and the leader of Germany’s Center Party, the nation’s Catholic party. Together, Pacelli and Kaas drafted a Reich Concordat, a formal treaty between Germany and the Vatican, and discussed strategies for bringing a government to power in Berlin that would look favorably on this concordat. Both Pius xi and Cardinal Pacelli encouraged Kaas and the Center Party leadership to explore the advantages of cooperation with the Nazis.

By the time Germany’s governing coalition fell apart in January 1933, Pacelli and his allies were ready to make their move. It was Catholic Center Party Deputy Franz von Papen who persuaded German President Paul von Hindenberg to grant Hitler the chancellorship of a Nationalist-Nazi-Catholic coalition in which Papen was to be vice chancellor.

In January 1933, thanks largely to the meddling of Cardinal Pacelli, Hitler was installed as Germany’s chancellor!

Although chancellor, Hitler was still handcuffed by Germany’s democratic rules. In an effort to circumvent democracy and establish his authoritarian rule, Hitler thrust the Enabling Act—an act that would grant him supreme, unchecked power—before the German parliament. At that point, all that stood between Hitler and dictatorship was the Center Party (predominantly Catholic) and the German National People’s Party.

Thankfully for him, Ludwig Kaas, an influential voice in the Center Party and long-time instrument of Pacelli and the Vatican, immediately embarked on a campaign to convince Center Party politicians to vote “yes” to the Enabling Act. On March 23, after a few weeks of campaigning, Hitler and Kaas stood before the Reichstag and implored politicians to support the Enabling Act. The plea was successful. When the Reichstag voted later that evening, the Center Party, followed by every political party except for the Social Democrats, voted yes.

It was remarkable; democracy had signed its own death warrant. On March 23, the Reichstag granted Hitler the power to pass laws and make treaties without the future consent of the government—or anyone else in Germany!

Once again the Vatican, particularly via Kaas, was essential in furthering Hitler’s ambition for supreme control of Germany. In fact, the day after the Enabling Act passed, Kaas visited Pacelli in Rome, where he, in his own words, “investigate[d] the possibilities for a comprehensive understanding between church and state.” As soon as he took office, Hitler showed his gratitude to Pope Pius xi and Cardinal Pacelli by forming a peace pact—the first of the Third Reich—with the Vatican.

Cardinal Pacelli and German Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen signed the historic Reich Concordat on July 20, 1933—less than four months after Hitler was officially granted the powers of a dictator.

In his book Adolf Hitler, author John Toland recalls the Vatican’s enthusiasm for entering into a relationship with the Third Reich. “The church agreed to keep priest and religion out of politics while Hitler, among other things, granted complete freedom to confessional schools throughout the country, a notable victory for German Catholics. His Holiness welcomed Hitler’s representative, Franz von Papen, most graciously and remarked how pleased he was that the German government now had at its head a man uncompromisingly opposed to communism and Russian nihilism in all its forms.”

Though it was early in his reign, Hitler had made public his disdain for Jews, his disregard for democracy and even his larger ambition for conquering Europe. In spite of all this, the Vatican was quick to endorse Hitler’s dictatorship.

“The Vatican was so appreciative of being recognized as a full partner that it asked God to bless the Reich,” Toland writes. “On a more practical level, it ordered German bishops to swear allegiance to the National Socialist regime. The new oath concluded with these significant words: ‘In the performance of my spiritual office and in my solicitude for the welfare and interest of the German Reich, I will endeavor to avoid all detrimental acts which might endanger it.’”

When you read this history you have to wonder: How successful would Hitler’s Nazi Party have been without the support of the Catholic Church?

In 1935, Heinrich Brüning, the man who in May 1932 had been squeezed from the chancellorship by Hitler and his supporters, revealed who he believed was primarily responsible for the alliance between the Nazis and the Vatican. “Behind the agreement with Hitler stood not the pope, but the Vatican bureaucracy and its leader, Pacelli,” he said. “He visualized an authoritarian state and an authoritarian church directed by the Vatican bureaucracy, the two to conclude an eternal league with one another.”

Many today have trouble admitting Hitler’s connection with the Vatican. Nevertheless, it is true: Without the support of the Vatican, Hitler very likely would never have gained supreme power over Germany. It was the same with Charlemagne, Otto the Great and the Habsburgs. Germany and the Vatican have a history of working together to subjugate Europe.

Doesn’t history demand we watch these two closely?

How to Win an Election in Russia

How to Win an Election in Russia

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The bombshell announcement that was no surprise at all

That’s how they do it in Russia.

Here, the United States is gearing up for an ugly presidential election, and we have more than a year of pomp, theatrics, name-calling, mudslinging, attack ads and impossible promises to look forward to.

This past Saturday, Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s prime minister and president, announced that they would save the Russians the hassles of a truly free and fair election next year—and simply switch jobs.

At the annual conference of the ruling United Russia party on Saturday, President Medvedev said he would not run for reelection in 2012, and proposed that Mr. Putin return to that office for a third term. Putin accepted the invitation, and proposed Medvedev’s candidacy as prime minister, which Medvedev accepted.

It’s all so convenient. Sure, technically these are just proposals—nothing formal. But, realistically, this is about as close to a lock for an election you can get outside of North Korea.

Mr. Putin actually revealed that all the way back in 2007, Medvedev, before becoming president, agreed to step down after serving only one term. “[W]e actually discussed this variant of events while we were first forming our comradely alliance,” Putin said on Saturday.

The idea that Putin the strongman was only Russia’s second-most-powerful leader was always a farce. He was president from 2000 to 2008, but the constitution blocked him from running for a third consecutive four-year term. He picked Medvedev to succeed him. That’s how they do it in Russia.

For the last four years, then, President Medvedev has been something of a puppet while Putin assumed the prime ministership and chaired United Russia. In this position, Putin has enjoyed enhanced control of the legislature. Unsurprisingly, an amendment was successfully pushed into the constitution that bumped presidential terms to six years. Thus, the path is now cleared for Mr. Putin to stay in the Kremlin for another 12 years.

Most people in the West shed no tears after the Soviet Union dissolved and Russia stumbled and bumbled through the 1990s. Vladimir Putin, by contrast, called the ussr’s collapse the “greatest tragedy of the 20th century.” Like most of his countrymen, he views the 1990s as a decade of humiliation. When he took leadership of Russia in 2000, the shrewd ex-kgb agent aggressively went about setting things right again. And he made impressive gains.

During his two presidential terms, Putin wrestled a new brand of capitalism onto the Russian stage. In 1998, the country was bankrupt. During his eight years in the Kremlin, Russia’s economy grew at an average of 7 to 8 percent per year, and its currency appreciated 20 percent in value.

President Putin streamlined his nation’s political architecture in order to amass his personal power. He created policies whereby the Kremlin can prevent virtually whomever it pleases from participating in politics. He consolidated and nationalized his nation’s formidable energy resources and used them as foreign-policy weapons. He oversaw an oil-and-gas-driven economic revival that boosted Russia past Saudi Arabia in 2009 to become the world’s leading energy exporter.

Even with Medvedev in the presidency, Russia’s upward trajectory has continued. When nasa retired its space shuttles this summer, Russia gained a monopoly on station crew shuttle flights, a service that costs over $50 million per astronaut. Putin has rebuilt his country’s military, and just this month coaxed Ukraine into participating for the first time in a major military training drill jointly with Russian and Belarusian forces.

However, there is an ugly underbelly to this success story. In the process of lifting Russia from its 1990s stagnation, Putin has brutally quashed an uprising in Chechnya, silenced most independent Russian media, opened the Nord Stream pipeline running into Germany and tightening Moscow’s grip on Eastern Europe, attacked human rights organizations, and intimidated his rivals into silence. His government has been implicated in multiple seedy incidents: the poisoning of Ukraine’s pro-Western presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko before its 2004 elections; a broad-scale cyberattack against Estonia after it relocated a Soviet-era statue; the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya; the fatal poisoning of spy-turned-Putin-critic Alexander Litvinenko. In late 2009, Putin said the “reunification” of Georgia with Russia has “already been decided,” which many viewed as a call for restoration of Moscow’s control over Georgia. When the U.S. said it would build a missile shield in Eastern Europe, Russia threatened to bomb it.

In short, Vladimir Putin has orchestrated a staggering and rapid return to international prominence and power for Russia—and in classic Russian authoritarian style. Russia was walloped by the global economic downturn shortly after Putin left the presidency, but it is recovering, and throwing its weight around at international conferences. It is expanding its armed forces. It is establishing military bases on the Black Sea. It is conducting naval exercises in Asia and Latin America. It is constructing new pipelines to pump its natural gas and oil into other nations. It is helping with Iran’s nuclear program. It is pushing back at nato expansion. It is working with Central Asian countries to undermine U.S. and European proposals to build oil and gas pipelines that bypass Russia. It is joining its voice with China’s in calls to undercut the U.S. dollar.

In response to the news of Putin’s return to the Kremlin, Europeans are having Cold War nightmares. They haven’t forgotten their bloody history with Russia, and deeply fear the return of the Soviet bear. Putin’s heavy-handed tactics recall that history. Europeans well know: That’s how they do it in Russia.

The Trumpet has long said that Russian democracy is a sham. When Medvedev assumed the presidency, we predicted that though Medvedev would keep the seat warm, Putin would return: “Putin has marshaled the return of Russia to great-power status, and he is not about to become hands-off,” we wrote on Nov. 12, 2008. “Bible prophecy shows that Russia’s resurgence will be a catalyst for the emergence of a unified European superstate—and subsequently contribute to an enormously destructive world war.”

Russia is still armed to the hilt with nuclear weapons. And now, to make matters worse, Europe is deeply dependent on Russian energy. This situation calls to mind an electrifying biblical prophecy. Back in 2003, Vladimir Putin secured tremendous personal power in national elections—power he has since expanded even further. At that time, our editor in chief pointed to this prophecy. In his January 2004 Trumpet cover story, “Russia Frightens Europe—and Fulfills Bible Prophecy,” he wrote, “The Russian election is triggering a fear that will hasten the uniting of the European Union. The Russian election will cause Germany and other European nations to want a stronger leader. Throughout history, Germany has often sought a strong leader. Bible prophecy says it will do so again—for the last time!”

Read Mr. Flurry’s entire article to see how Europe’s fear over Russia’s growing power is directly prophesied in the Bible. Those prophecies clearly describe how Russia’s resurgence will actually help ignite and draw together a European superstate—and subsequently contribute to an enormously destructive world war. Our booklet Russia and China in Prophecy explains the whole picture.

The return of Russia as a fearsome totalitarian power was forecast in Scripture. We’re seeing it before our eyes.

Shocking home invasion reveals generations of hatred

Philadelphia appears to be a simmering cauldron of anger. On September 9, dozens of teenagers carrying bats, pipes and at least one firearm descended on the Port Richmond community. The angry mob of black and Hispanic youths was looking for a couple of white teenagers who had allegedly pushed an African-American youth off his bike at a nearby playground a couple of hours earlier.

As the unruly mob entered the community, two fearful white teens caught in their path began running for their life, begging homeowner Mark LaVelle to let them into his house.

Just as LaVelle slammed his door shut, the aggressive mob surged up his porch. LaVelle yelled for his wife to hide their children in the bedroom and call the police.

The angry mob began banging on his windows and door. Someone shouted, “Something’s going to happen now!”

Then someone kicked the door so hard it slammed open, and some of the angry teenagers came flooding in. The scene quickly descended into chaos, as the Philadelphia Daily News reports:

“The first guy hits me with a pipe. The second guy knocks me in the face. All I’m hearing is my wife and kids screaming,” said LaVelle, who feared that the next time they saw him, he would be in a casket.He said that he was able to push the attackers out the door, but then a third man—who had a gun—tried to extend his arm. LaVelle grabbed onto the gunman’s lower arm and shoulder so he couldn’t raise the weapon. Then, police sirens screamed in the neighborhood, and the mob turned and ran.

As reported by the Philadelphia Daily News, police apprehended some of the youths, and LaVelle was able to identify three of the attackers.

But, as if this assault wasn’t shocking enough by itself, the insanity wasn’t—and isn’t—over.

LaVelle said that the next day, the mother of the juvenile [with the gun] came back with some other people, banging on his door, screaming. LaVelle, who was at a charity sports event, was called back to the house by one of his sons.When he got home, LaVelle said, the mother yelled at him, “You … got my kid locked up! You got my son locked up because he’s black, you’re white!” The mother claimed that her son had been “a witness,” not an attacker. To that, LaVelle said if that were true, it would come out in court.But the mother, according to LaVelle, then yelled: “If you make it to court! I know where you live!”

Wow. As if this man hadn’t gone through enough. He didn’t even know the white teens who were being chased two hours after the African-American youth was knocked off his bike. Now this man lives in fear that someone is going to kill him as revenge—revenge for the dastardly act of opening his door.

Look at this disproportionate act of violence. One youth allegedly gets pushed off his bicycle, and a mob descends on a nearby community with bats, pipes and guns. Philadelphia is simmering with hatred ready to boil over.

If the attack was racially motivated—as it seems certain it was—you can see where the teenagers took their cue from: their parents.

Multigenerational hatred is not only still extant in America, it is getting worse. For the Bible’s perspective on where incidents like this are leading, read “America: Why Race Riots Are Inevitable.”

Why Joseph Should Be in Charge of the Economy

Why Joseph Should Be in Charge of the Economy

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The fat cows have been eaten. The lean years are here. But hope for future prosperity remains.

There is nothing the U.S. government can do to stop America from falling into another recession, said economist Nouriel Roubini on Thursday.

“Whatever the Fed does now is too little, too late,” he said. “Only issue now: Will it be a mild … recession or a severe recession plus global financial crisis as bad or even worse than the 2008-09 one?”

So America is back to where it was a long three years ago when Lehman brothers collapsed. Only now, it’s not just the banks and mortgage holders who are broke—but the government is too.

What went wrong?

All politicians should be forced to read Genesis 41 before taking office. So should Federal Reserve chairmen. The economic famine that grips the nation was avoidable—if those in charge had the humility to learn from Joseph.

Pharaoh had had a dream of seven fat, healthy cows being eaten by seven scrawny, sickly cows. None of his wise men or soothsayers could tell him what the dream meant. But Joseph could.

This humble slave told Pharaoh that Egypt would enjoy seven years of great abundance followed by seven years of famine. More importantly, he told Pharaoh what he should do: Save during the good years so the people would have food during the lean.

You probably know the story. But our modern politicians and economic wise men have missed the whole point: You actually need to save for the lean years!

Since America didn’t—there is no easy way out of its predicament. Economic famine is guaranteed.

During America’s good years—when secretaries and engineers alike quit their jobs to become real-estate agents, when bankers were rock stars, and seemingly limitless money let janitors buy half-million-dollar homes—our leaders should have been telling the nation to stop borrowing and start saving. At the least, the government should have put its own house in order.

But no. Even amid the best years of the last decade, not once did the government run a budget surplus. During President Bush’s last term, America ran the highest deficits in history. Hardly a single voice urged people to live within their means. The national debt increased during the Clinton years too—despite the popular myth to the contrary.

Instead, the Fed encouraged people to eat their grain—and not only that, but to borrow food from their neighbors and other nations and eat that as well!

Now the famine is here, and America is resorting to radical, harebrained shenanigans to keep the economy going. The people need food, so the government is handing out starch-packed, nutrient-deficient funny money, as fast as it can. The calorie count may be good, but the nation is starving. And the national debt is growing like a loaf of white bread on steroid yeast cells.

But where is the money coming from?, one may ask. I thought America was broke. It is the greatest scam in history. The money is either fake—created out of thin air—and thus will eventually destroy the value of the dollar, or it is borrowed, which means it has to be repaid out of future consumption.

And repaying that debt will not be easy. Foreigners are catching on. It used to be that the Japanese or Germans would lend America money for 30 years—content that the interest earned would be worth the risk. Not anymore. Today, most lenders only lend short-term. The risk of not getting their money back is too high. For America, that means that the trillions we are borrowing to keep the economy from collapsing will have to be paid back next year, or over the next few years, rather than in decades.

In a sign that foreigners may now be balking at lending the federal government any more money on a long-term basis, the Federal Reserve announced last Wednesday that it would take $400 billion it had temporarily lent the government and roll it over into 15-year and 30-year loans.

The Federal Reserve said the move was to help lower interest rates and stimulate more mortgages. Yet interest rates are at historical lows already and people and businesses are not borrowing.

Smart analysts wonder if the move wasn’t also to hide the cracks in a bond market that is only healthy in comparison to the world’s other dysfunctional markets.

Economic famine threatens again. Just look at the volatile stock markets. If that isn’t enough: Debt collapse threatens the eurozone, inflation is tearing China apart, America’s banking sector is largely insolvent and interconnected with Europe’s zombie banks, U.S. consumers are reaching the end of their resiliency, another wave of home foreclosures threatens to swamp the market again, and any day events could literally blow up the Middle East.

Yet in America, heeding Joseph’s advice would have prevented much of this mess—even put America in a position to emerge stronger. Had America promoted savings instead of spending, and hard work and thrift as opposed to immediate gratification and borrowing, a bubble wouldn’t have formed in the first place. And if for some reason disaster did strike, or if some unforeseeable event did occur, the nation would have abundant savings to fall back on. Instead, America has an enormous pyramid of debt.

Pharaoh was smart enough to take Joseph’s advice. As the famine took hold, the economies of neighboring nations were destroyed. But Egypt became incredibly wealthy. The surrounding nations were forced to bring their flocks and herds and whatever other wealth they had into Egypt to exchange for food.

Egypt went into the crisis from a position of strength. And it was Joseph’s advice that turned Egypt into a superpower. As a result of Joseph’s wisdom, Pharaoh promoted him to second in command of all Egypt. He was held in such high esteem that Joseph’s Israelite family was given the choicest agricultural land in Egypt (Goshen) to live on.

Unfortunately, America is heading into this crisis from a position of virtual bankruptcy. America is about to become subservient to the nations that stored up food for the famine.

The good news is that God wants you to prosper, even during severe economic depressions. In the Bible, Joseph was synonymous with “prosperity.” “And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and … the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand” (Genesis 39:2-3).

If God could prosper Joseph when he was a slave, and even when he was unjustly thrown in jail, He can prosper you no matter your condition. The key is trusting and obeying Him, just like Joseph did. Will you do that?

UN Security Council Discusses Palestinian Statehood

UN Security Council Discusses Palestinian Statehood

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The United Nations Security Council met September 26 to begin informal talks on the Palestinian Authority’s application for statehood. The United States and UK oppose statehood, while Russia and France support it.

“It’s highly likely that the consultations will continue for some weeks,” the deputy head of one Western mission to the United Nations told Haaretz. “The Palestinian application is considered an extremely sensitive issue, and in particular, it’s a source of controversy between the Council’s two leading powers, the United States and Russia. Therefore, no quick decision that would produce an official debate and vote is expected.”

Despite this fact, the Palestinians are hopeful. President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas told the cheering crowd that greeted him in Ramallah: “The Palestinian spring is certainly under way, with the creation of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. The journey is long and there are many obstacles, but with our people’s steadfastness, we will overcome these obstacles.”

The Palestinians’ enthusiasm for a state will probably be met with a frustrating delay in the Security Council. At the best of times there is a simmering tension in Israel, but this could make it boil over.

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out in his masterful speech to the UN General Assembly, “The truth is that so far the Palestinians have refused to negotiate. The truth is that Israel wants peace with a Palestinian state, but the Palestinians want a state without peace.” By going to the UN this way, the Palestinians have shown they don’t want peace. If they don’t get their way there, could there be another intifada?

Sky News correspondent Tim Marshall writes from Jerusalem that “The vote on the UN could be forced, triggering the U.S. veto, which in turn would very likely lead to violence in the West Bank and Israel—and possibly against U.S. interests in the wider region.”

All the Palestinians’ bid for UN statehood seems to have done is to stir up yet more hatred for Israel in the Middle East and around the world.

Luxembourg—Vassal State of Europe’s Dominant Power

Luxembourg—Vassal State of Europe’s Dominant Power

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Having a historical attachment to the name Herbert Armstrong, Luxembourg will one day remember the powerful message he once broadcast over its powerful radio station.

Moien! In the native tongue “hello,” this is a welcome you will hear from the stately castles to the cobblestone streets of the historic and prosperous country of Luxembourg, located at the beating heart of Europe. But whichever of the three official languages—Luxembourgish, French or German—a welcome is spoken in, the uniqueness of the experience to the visitor will be that he is within the borders of the world’s only grand duchy. Home to just under half a million citizens, the constitutional monarchy neighbors Belgium, France and Germany and is spread over less than 1,000 square miles. The primary religion is Roman Catholicism despite the country’s population consisting of over a third foreigners.

For some years Luxembourg has been listed as the world’s second-most prosperous country considering per capita gross domestic product. The economic structure of Luxembourg is based mainly on banking, insurance and the steel industry. Agriculture remains important, and wine production in particular, as evidenced in its sharing of the Moselle valley with Germany in the joint production of popular white wines.

One doesn’t often see Luxembourg in the front-page news. However, earlier this year Luxembourg said “Addi or a voir” to the U.S. ambassador, who abruptly resigned her post after reportedly spending a year in the country that was “blighted by personality feuds and improper spending, including $3,400 (£2,100) that the embassy rushed to spend on wine and spirits at the end of the 2010 budget year,” wrote Toby Harnden of London’s Daily Telegraph (February 6).

Former Ambassador Cynthia Stroum “was a businesswoman and investor, credited with saving the Seattle Symphony from bankruptcy, who raised more than $500,000 (£310,000) for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. In recognition of this, she was given the plum posting of Luxembourg” (ibid).

Of the 21 U.S. ambassadors to the country, only three have been career diplomats, which would seem to support the assumption that Ms. Stroum was rewarded for her loyalty and financial support of the incumbent U.S. administration—despite the president promising to end such practices. The reported administrative chaos and lack of leadership by the ambassador and the disunity of her staff appear to reinforce the ongoing lack of understanding of the reality of events unfolding in Europe.

The United States simply does not understand Europe. Today’s political “elite” are particularly ignorant of Europe’s history, geography, culture and especially the imperialist ambitions of EU Catholic elites who retain a burning passion to restore the medieval Holy Roman Empire. The U.S. has been blinded by the Trojan horse of EU foreign policy, which remains but a cloak for German imperialist ambitions. Washington especially seems to be ignorant of the depth of anti-American feeling in Europe that has built up since the Iraq war was initiated.

The German high court ruling endorsing the recent EU bailouts and placing conditions on future such sovereign financial aid, by requiring parliament approval, only fuels fears of a more dominant Germany in Europe. Read Gerald Flurry’s recent article “World’s Greatest Danger: Germany Domineers Over Europe Again!” for more understanding.

Landlocked and surrounded by EU headquarters in Belgium to the northwest, the jilted EU power France to the south and undisputed master Germany to the east, one could make the case that Luxembourg is but a vassal state to Europe’s most dominant power. The German Federal Foreign Office states that “Maintaining good neighborly relations with Germany, France and Belgium is one of Luxembourg’s priorities.” The facts are that though Luxembourg is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the European Union, politically, economically and in terms of its national security, Luxembourg’s survival is ensconced in that nation playing fiddle to the whims of its dominant neighbors.

None of this would be a surprise to the late Herbert Armstrong. As presenter of the World Tomorrow program, his voice beamed across the Continent in 1953, clear across the English Channel into Britain, when he began broadcasting weekly on Radio Luxembourg, the world’s most powerful radio station at that time. As recounted in his autobiography, he visited the country and radio station in 1954 with his wife and oldest son, Richard. “On the way we examined many scenes of both world wars. Seeing the actual battlefields made the wars seem much more real,” he wrote. It was in 1958 that he expanded to daily radio on Radio Luxembourg, reaching an even larger audience with a message of Europe’s growth, expansion and future domination by a church-state combine, a literal resurrection of the ancient Holy Roman Empire. Request our booklet He Was Right for factual proof of his advance news predictions of present-day events.

Luxembourg’s motto is “We want to remain what we are.” Today, citizens still honor its constitutional monarchy, with Grand Duke Henri the current sovereign. His father, Jean, grand duke of Luxembourg, would no doubt have heard the voice of Herbert Armstrong crying out over his nation’s airwaves.

His maternal grandfather was King Leopold iii of Belgium, who had a close friendship with Mr. Armstrong that extended from 1968 to the time of Leopold’s death in 1983.

That friendship was based on a mutually shared outgoing concern for humankind and manifested in efforts directed toward increasing understanding of the need for the peaceful coexistence of all nations.

Grand Duke Henri would do well to remember that friendship, the fruits it yielded and the message that his nation hosted out of its own borders throughout all Europe foretelling events prophesied in the Bible that have become current-day reality.

As the times have changed, so has Radio Luxembourg. Known today as rtl, it is owned by Europe’s largest media company, Bertelsmann. Bertelsmann is the company that oversaw the broadcasting of Nazi propaganda throughout Europe, including Luxembourg, during the Hitler regime.

Over 170 million citizens watch tv channels operated by the rtl Group. Its ceo, Gerhard Zeiler, boasts, “rtl Group is a house of excellent content and powerful brands, which is able to deliver its content to all media platforms worldwide and to repeat its broadcasting success story in every country while fulfilling its obligation to the society.”

Radio Luxembourg continues on air today reaching millions daily across Europe. Bertelsmann continues to lead the way in broadcasting for Europe, expanding into the world’s most dominant bandwidth-hungry digital ecosystem—Internet video. Germany’s rtl along with its affiliate, Radio Luxembourg, understand that the world has grown from print, radio and television to increasingly large swaths of viewing audiences moving online. Bertelsmann sees the future of reaching an ever expanding online audience as indicated by its increasing presence in this expanding market, with industry professionals even declaring that “Internet tv is taking over German living rooms.”

Luxembourg’s media is dominated by the German language, and German broadcasters are the prevalent peddlers of news and entertainment to its citizens. It has become a German-media-managed tech-hub for Europe’s media expansion.

Perhaps Luxembourg’s citizens have forgotten the name Bertelsmann as a corporation with a dark past. Bertelsmann was “both a loyal propagandist for the Nazis in their rampage across Europe in the 1940s and [is] a loyal propagandist for the European Union, the European constitution and the euro today. In the 1940s they published propaganda for the German armed services” (Free Nations, April 14, 2005).

Today, once again, Luxembourg is held tightly in the bosom of Germany. However, it has a past of its own, a history with God, as a son of the ancient patriarch Jacob cited as Asher, one of the very tribes of Israel to enjoy both wealth along with retaining its royal lineage (Genesis 49:20; Deuteronomy 33:24).

Anciently, King Hezekiah pleaded with the tribes of Israel to repent and return to proper holy day observance. “So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written” (2 Chronicles 30:5). The majority of the tribes that received his letter sent by the hand of his messengers “laughed them to scorn, and mocked them” (verse 10). Request our booklet Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days—Which? to understand more.

However, there were some such as the people of the tribe of Asher, the ancient progenitors of today’s peoples of Belgium and Luxembourg, who humbled themselves and set out on a pilgrimage of change to Jerusalem with the goal of obeying God’s scriptural commands to keep the Passover and feast days. “Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem” (verse 11). That is a magnificent moment in Luxembourg’s history—ancient biblical Asher along with its neighbor Belgium. They repented of false religious worship and returned to the commanded holy days of God, tearing down false idols and objects of pagan worship and restoring true worship of God as commanded in His canonized Word. Today, via the Trumpet and Key of David websites, the modern-day descendants of Asher can hear that same message that Herbert Armstrong declared via Radio Luxembourg over 50 years ago.

It is a message that prophesies through the clear light of biblical prophecy that, for now, dark days lie ahead for Luxembourg and the other tribes of Israel located as the northwest democracies of Europe to become vassal states of a soon-to-be 10-nation European empire dominated by Germany. However, as declared by the Prophet Daniel, a stone “cut out … without hands” will strike down this power and usher in prosperity for all (Daniel 2:45). Then, Luxembourg citizens will, together with the descendants of all other Israelite nations, once more keep God’s holy days and obey His laws and happily teach them as an example to all nations.