The Fourth Reich? The EU – An Emerging German Empire

EU Fourth Reich

In The Fourth Reich? The EU – An Emerging German Empire, Moore argues that Germany has not abandoned the Bismarckian dream of a ‘pan European Empire stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals and beyond’.

Drawing upon new research including diplomatic papers from Germany, the UK, Russia and America, she argues that Germany has continued to build a dominant position in Europe, using military force, aggressive diplomacy and now economic strength. This has continued even during periods that our ordinary history books describe as ‘defeats’. This new appraisal of history demonstrates 150 years of Germany’s imperial ambitions.

Endorsed by Professor Jeremy Black (Exeter University) and Forrest Capie (official historian of the bank of England, 2004-2010) the book sets out to demonstrate that the general consensus of the last 150 years is false.

Using evidence from the German historian Fritz Fischer, whose 1961 book Griff nach der Weltmacht (Grasp at World Power) Moore argues that blame for the first world war falls squarely upon Germany. She also argues that the Versailles treaty was not the punitive peace it has been portrayed – and the Germans paid only a tiny proportion of their reparations.

After the second world war Britain and France again failed to win the peace, while Germany recovered with alacrity – in 1947 its industrial capacity was 11% higher than in 1936 – even while its own population were still suffering greatly.

Mitteleuropa and the European Union
As the EU came into being, Moore suggests that it was not simply a French-led project. Mitteleuropa had been a dream of the 19th century pan-German Nationalists and the Nazis in 1942 wrote of their ambition to create a ‘European Economic Community’ under German domination. In 1950, the Madrid Geo-Political Centre (a Nazi think tank operating in exile after the war in Spain), revealed in its Secret Madrid Circular Letter that Germany had mustered American support for the idea because of American fear of communism.
Post-war West Germany prospers as bulwark against communism
Post war politics was driven by fear of the Soviets and the Cold War; Germany was brought on side but demanded a high price. In 1950 Germany’s war debts were slashed. In that same year many Nazi prisoners’ death penalties were commuted and many former Nazis walked free. 1955 saw a German balance of payments surplus of over 3.07 billion DM, and the Deutschmark by 1967 was viewed as the world’s strongest currency.

Post-unification Germany benefits from the Euro
With the fall of the Berlin Wall, and German reunification (achieved at considerable hardship for the former East Germans) the French and EU colleagues pushed for the single currency, seeing this in part as a bulwark against the domination of the Deutschmark. Yet this too has worked to Germany’s advantage; while German banks lent freely to Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain, these countries, unlike Iceland, were not able to default on their debts post – Lehman crash. In the run up to the crash German upward pressure on interest rates via the European Central Bank in turn impacted the economics of America and the rest of Europe, an important contributory factor to the 2008 crisis, Moore argues.


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