WHERE IS GERMANY GOING?
JAN MARIA JACKOWSKI
Germany treats the European Union as an effective instrument for realization of its national interests.
The European Union is trying to face up with serious dangers which appeared from the East – in Ukraine and also in the south now – with the growing wave of refugees. A lot points to the fact that the immigration crisis is the biggest challenge which the European Union is going to face and which reveals all problems of the contemporary times, including blurring fundaments on which Europe was built.
The problem is also the German dominance in the EU, because not always what is good for Germany, is also good for other European countries. This is Berlin which, encouraging the Syrians to arrive in Germany, started the wave of immigration from the Near East, and since when our western neighbours realized that they would not be successful and are trying to throw the burden onto others. In relation to it, there is a traditional Teutonic arrogance like in the statement of the chief of the European Parliament Martin Schulz or the Inner Minister of RFN.
European integration in the beginning, so, soon after the end of the Second World War, was an idea for making Germany European. Whereas, today we are witnesses of a reverse process – germanization of Europe. Germany treats the European Union as an effective instrument for realization of its national interests and is pursuing actions very consistently in order to dominate continental Europe. It is playing with Russian in the East. It has got a long-time tradition of mutual useful cooperation, taking place at the cost of Poland to much extent. Both countries have built a Gas-pipe of North, being a symbol of good relation on the axis Berlin – Moscow, which was compared to the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact a few years ago. Cooperation in the neuralgic railway area, is accompanied by military cooperation. In the West Germany uses France which is already too weak in order to play a more independent role. Italy and Spain are getting into a crisis more and more. In this way Germany, having the biggest demographic and economic potential, are taking the leading position.
In the 60s of the last century, in Germany there was a lively discussion on the main reason of causing both world wars by this country. Some German historians said that the reason was not only 'life space' for Germany and 'Drang nach Osten', but, first of all, 'Griff nach der Weltmacht', which means an attempt to gain authority in the world. According to them, in fact, the purpose of the war expansion was not only ruling over Europe, but also dominance in the world. These opinions were also a development of thesis by prof. Fritz Fischer (1908 – 99), who, through his thorough archive studies, negated 'traditional' interpretation of causes of the Second World War, in which Germany is a normal country, and Hitler is only 'an accident at work'.
Prof. Fischer proved in his books that there was a consequence and continuity of the German imperial policy from 1900 to the second world war, and called the chancellor from the years 1909 – 17 Theobald von Bethmann – Hollweg 'Hitler of the year 1914'. Certainly, his thesis caused a wave of criticism in Germany, and he was stigmatized as 'an anti-German historian'. Growing German dominance in the EU is a sign that in our western neighbouring countries there is a lively sentiment again, both for 'Drang nach Osten' and 'Griff nach der Weltmacht'. So, it is worth remembering about these purposes of the German policy in the context of the crisis connected with immigrants.