The new, old threat from the east

The new old threat from the east

New, old fronts: U.S. soldiers train in Poland. Picture: eucom.mil

A reminder on 8. May 1945 and Germany’s role in the world (part 3 and end)

Part 1: The 8. May 1945. A Reminder

Part 2: No German place in the sun

On 8. May 1945, the Germans’ second grab for world power was a final failure. The 8. May 1945 did not bring again a place in the sun in the honorable company of world powers. The then widely recognized government leaders, militaries and the Reich Chancellor, in their effort to achieve a worthy German place in the sun in the second statesmanlike grab for world power, have, according to the new view, brought guilt upon themselves.

Now, according to the culture of remembrance maintained for 76 years, the absolute evil had triumphed and inflicted another defeat on the German quest for world power. The fact that, from a statesman’s point of view, it cannot remain at that, however, was already pointed out by the first Federal President, Theodor Heuss, on 8. May 1949 in its memory wake-up call set out. This wake-up call is to be kept alive and continued from now on, even though years and decades may pass after the new "Primal Catastrophe" of a German defeat in the struggle for a place in the sun in the honorable circle of world powers.

For the German big picture and its future task, all this notwithstanding, should continue to be remembered and emphasized: "The 8. May 1945 is a date of decisive historical significance in Europe." On the one hand, to remember is to remember in the way constructed by Theodor Heuss of remembering the past: in the well-preserved pathos of paradox-tragic-erasure-annihilation, and all that "in a", according to Heuss. The "Pathos of this emotional impact", Is from the shapers and reminders of the memory wake-up call "for each of us" – Heuss continued – conceived and in his long short story formulated more and more clearly and sophisticatedly:

The 8. May is a day of remembrance. To remember means to commemorate an event so honestly and purely that it becomes a part of one’s inner self. For us it comes down to a memorial of thought and feeling within ourselves.

Richard von Weizsacker, 8. May 1985

On the other hand, the political goal of the wake-up call is to be adapted to the changing geopolitical and world political situation. This makes the 8. May 1945 to a "Date of critical importance for Europe" (Richard von Weizsacker, 8. May 1985).

For the position of the German in Europe and in the world, still considered in statesmanlike manner, remains anything but satisfactory. As "Memorial of thought and feeling" it was not allowed in the "own interior" of new government leaders and policymakers from the 8. May 1945 remain. The wake-up call is intended to bring into the thinking and feeling of the German people the political goal of the German nation, which has outlasted all times "each of us" The memory is the experience of God’s work in history, and it is so engraved in the individual and collective memory that the now third grasp for world power enjoys general political recognition and validity, without falling into the unvarnished and open-hearted tones that Hitler and his party used.

This noble, statesmanlike, world-political claim is undoubtedly of general validity for every political sovereign that stands on its own in the world of extensive competition between states: "Germany will either be a world power or not at all." (My struggle, 1936: 742)

Memory as a tool and a duty

The memory is the experience of God’s action in history. It is the source of the faith in the redemption. This experience creates hope, it creates faith in redemption, in reunification of the separated, in reconciliation. Whoever forgets, loses faith. (…) It weighs, it bleeds, that two German states have arisen with their heavy border. It weighs and bleeds the fullness of the borders at all…The dismal result of the hour is always the separation

Richard von Weizsacker, 8. May 1985

Clothed in the words of the Old Testament, invested with all Judaic, Christian, and modern enlightened moral weight and pretension, memory unmistakably informs German, European, and world public opinion that it not only believes in the hope and deliverance from the sin of separation of which Hitler and his were guilty.

Rather, the reunification of the separated, certified by the Old Testament, has hardly been completed since the capitulation treaty was signed on 8 December 1889. The first thing that was signed in May 1945 was the supreme commandment of the old state reason under the new, given, world political situation: only a glorified, reunited Germany has ever a chance to take a leading role in a new Europe and to be a leader over it "our rights and interests" to gain geopolitical and world political weight and validity.

A step on the long way to new coarseness, which the German Staatsrason from 8. May 1945 has commissioned, should soon be done: The 8. May 1949 inscribed in the preamble to the Basic Law, the re-establishment of a new all-Germany has come to fruition on 3. October 1990 fulfills.

This obviously historically really significant, "incriminating and bleeding wound", which the second attempt at a German grab for world power had culpably torn by its defeat, was healed. Healed gemab the "(…) Confidence that the 8. May does not remain the last date in our history, binding for all Germans" (von Weizsacker) and according to the "lessons from the past" (Steinmeier), which states:

For us it is necessary to use the opportunity to draw a line under a long period of European history, in which peace seemed to each state only conceivable and certain as a result of its own superiority, and in which peace meant a time of preparation for the next war.

Richard von Weizsacker, 8. May 1985

With this in mind, and in the face of a past of which "their own historical memory" (von Weizsacker): "Beside the incalculably gross army of the dead rises a mountain of human suffering" (ibd.), the conclusion demands that no more state on earth be prepared for "of one’s own superiority" strives and "in peace" the "next war" prepared (ibd.).

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