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Germany: Eurocrisis Response Like May 1945 'People's Storm' When Old Men Defended Berlin


An editorial from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung compares the European Union (EU) response to the debt crisis to the military situation in the waning days of World War II. As to the idea that the European Union can function as a political organization? Forget it.

“Government leaders are now referring to a ‘bazooka’ with which they want to blast the crisis into oblivion. It’s a further mystery of the EU’s crisis management how a word like bazooka can help to instil confidence. In Germany at least, the bazooka awakens memories of the last stand, of the ‘Volkssturm’ (‘People’s Storm’) of old men and children who were meant to turn around a lost war, but bled to death instead.”

“The EU hasn’t reached May 1945 levels yet. But, staying with the military metaphors, the front at times looked as if it were about to collapse in recent days. It took a lot of effort to get the ranks just about closed again. It would be easy, but cheap just to blame the government leaders for this. Most of them are doing their best grappling with this murderous program — within the confines set by the European political system which has been exposed in a merciless light by the crisis. Diverging interests, situations, historical experiences, mentalities and styles of government are clashing here. The row between Paris and Berlin about the rescue fund is just one of many examples of this.”

“The dispute gives a taste of how difficult it will be to develop the EU into a ‘political union.'”


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