Saturday, November 8, 2014

And the Wall came tumbling down

It was hard to decide which videos of those momentous hours and days to put up but I decided on the following.

One that gives a brief account of the run-up to the day itself, mentioning that the process that led to the end of that Wall and everything it entailed was started early that summer when the still Communist Hungarian government decided to let the thousands of East Germans who were massing on its border with Austria, in effect opening the borders between East and West. I may be biased but I have always thought that Hungary (it was a very popular decision) has never been given adequate credit for that act.

Here is another version.

As befits the BBC the report was given a rather sour post-script but it is true that on that day, twenty-five years ago and in the days to come there was nothing but rejoicing even among people who could foresee many problems.

The Second World War was finally over, the division that scarred Europe was going to be healed and many of us who had grown up, if not in the geographic then in the mental shadow of that Wall, were stunned to see and hear it going down.

One thing is of interest in that report by Brian Hanrahan: he mentions people power. Indeed, it was, just that. The Wall, the borders, Communism itself were all brought down by the people, for once more or less united. That has been the great tragedy of the Left, that is what they have found unforgiveable: that the only successful act of people power was to bring down the system they all thought was not really all that bad at all and was hated only by the rabid right. Turns out it was hated by everyone.

And now, my fellow eurosceptics, let us do a little bit of maths. The Federal Republic of Germany, popularly known as West Germany, became a constitutional democracy in May 1949, that is sixty-five years ago. That democracy was strong enough to take in twenty-five years ago aa section of Germany that had been a Communist country for forty years. Since then united Germany has had many problems (haven't we all?), both economic and political but it has remained a democracy and there seems not possibility of it being anything else. As against that, the Nazi regime lasted for twelve years. That's twelve years against sixty-five and twenty-five. Could we now stop talking about Germany as being always and for ever potentially Nazi?

Let us face it: the European Union will be brought down by Germany not by Britain and certainly not by Greece. But it will have to be a strong, self-confident Germany as the EU exists primarily on German guilt. Any eurosceptic who thinks we should pile on the guilt is playing the europhiliacs' game. But then you knew that.

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