Today is a public holiday in Germany, the celebration of the reunification of West and East Germany in 1991. The radio has had some interesting reflections of how Germany came into being, the post World War 1 economic and political chaos which gave rise to Hitler and his thugs, and finally the partition between the Allies and the Russians. As I am listening to the biography of Joachim Gauck, the current Bundespraesident, it has provided a a very interesting background to his memoir of life under the Soviets and their puppets, the German Democratic Socialists ...
I have come to believe, reading several recent histories, and rereading some of those I am more familiar with, that a unified Germany is far better for modern Europe than the divided one the west and the eastern powers kept alive for forty years. I can never understand those who persist in thinking the East was a 'model' state, or that socialism, communism, Marxism (which Marx himself wouldn't recognise) or any of the other Left-wing "-isms" is either fair, just or viable. It must be ironic that we currently have the Greens veering even further Left, and the former Communists trying to present themselves as "good guys". The voters rejected this in the elections, both the Greens and the Left lost ground, the Social Democrats held their share - just.
Germany is not some armed camp lurking in the heart of Europe waiting for an opportunity to seize control of everyone else. It is a nation of hardworking people, who remember their past and refuse to let the extremists take them down that road again. The modern Germany is working hard to preserve stability, and to make Europe secure.
Personally, I hope they succeed. They've had everyone tramp across their country for centuries, and they have learned from it. They prize stability above all else, and they're prepared to work to keep it.
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